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Cedar Rapid Police Sex Crimes Unit Investigating Hidden Secret of Child Sex Abuse

Updated: Saturday, August 3 2013, 01:16 PM CDT
CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (KGAN) --  There are rooms like this at the St. Luke's Child Protection Center in Hiawatha where a victimized child would relive his or her story. According to police and interviewers who work with children of sex abuse, it's a crime that remains hidden behind the glass wall. On the Iowa Sex Offender Registry there are a number of men and women wanted for committing sex crimes against children.

"It is a kind of hidden crime in our community, it occurs at a much higher rate than anybody is aware of," says Julie Kelly.  

"I've been doing this for, these kinds of cases for over seven years," says Corey Peiffer.

Cedar Rapids Police Investigator Corey Peiffer is one of three officers taking down the bad guys who commit sex crimes against the city's youngest residents. He doesn't do it alone, he's a part of a team.  

"We do the interviews and the examinations," says Kelly.

In 2011, nearly 1,100 children from zero to 18 years old were interviewed here at the child protection center for sex abuse. 359 of them were boys and 726 were girls.

"We certainly want to get the truth in terms of what the victims are reporting," Kelly said.

The sex crimes unit last year cleared 204 cases and they have a 96 percent conviction rate, but getting started is always the hardest part.

"It's partly a lack of children telling about it because they don't feel safe in doing so," says Kelly.

That's why most cases begin with a phone, from family, from friends, from someone connected to the child.  

Kelsey Minor, CBS 2 News
Cedar Rapid Police Sex Crimes Unit Investigating Hidden Secret of Child Sex Abuse


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