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Charlotte receives funds for unsolved sexual assault cases

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CHARLOTTE, NC (AP)-- A unit within the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department has received a federal grant of almost $500,000 to give higher priority to unsolved sex crimes and homicides.

The Charlotte Observer reported that the department's Sexual Assault Cold Case Unit has reviewed 860 cases
since it was set up six years ago. It has solved or cleared 132 of those, mostly through the use of DNA. Some of those cases dated back to the 1980s. Among the arrests were six serial rapists.

In 2003, the department set up a homicide cold case squad to tackle a growing backlog of hundreds of unsolved murders. Three years later, the Sexual Assault Cold Case Unit was launched. It was one of the nation's first cold case sex crimes squads.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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