- Associated Press - Friday, April 8, 2016

BLACKFOOT, Idaho (AP) - Rape investigations in Bingham County - where the sheriff recently made disparaging remarks about rape investigations - are on par with the rest of the state.

The Crime in Idaho reports show that from 1995 to 2014 the Bingham County Sheriff’s Office had a 75 percent cumulative clearance/arrest rate for statutory rape. In those 10 years, the office saw 22 reports of statutory rape, clearing five and making five arrests, according to The Post Register (https://bit.ly/20e4sZL). Those numbers are in line with state per capita averages.

Bingham County Sheriff Craig Rowland last month made national headlines when he was asked about a new Idaho law that sets standards for processing rape kit evidence.

“They need to let us decide if we’re going to send the kit and when we send the kits in,” Rowland said in the interview with an Idaho Falls TV station. “Because the majority of our rapes, not to say that we don’t have rapes, we do, but the majority of our rapes that are called in, are actually consensual sex.”

He later apologized for his statement and said his office takes rape cases seriously.

“I think every victim is treated as us being on their side when the crime comes in,” Rowland said. “And we investigate it to the best of our ability.”

Teena McBride, Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Center executive director, said Rowland’s comments affirm a perception about law enforcement she has had for years.

“That belief system or thought process can be found in other agencies,” McBride said. “That is a concern regardless of the agency.”


Information from: Post Register, https://www.postregister.com

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