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Sexual assaults drive increase in crime in D.C.

Thursday - 1/3/2013, 5:40pm  ET

Associated Press

WASHINGTON - D.C. police say sexual assaults were largely responsible for a slight increase in violent crime in 2012.

Police Chief Cathy Lanier discussed the figures Thursday at a news conference that also highlighted a historic drop in homicides in the nation's capital. There were 88 slayings in Washington last year, the lowest total in more than 50 years.

Lanier says the spike in sexual assaults is mostly driven by cases in which the victim and the attacker knew each other. Such cases more than doubled from 2011 to 2012. Lanier says many assaults are occurring on college campuses and at entertainment venues.

Overall, crime was up 3 percent in the district last year. Mayor Vincent Gray says that justifies his request to the D.C. Council to hire 50 more police officers.

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