Fresno Police Department
Sexual Assault Unit
The Sexual Assault Unit is within the Family Justice Bureau of the Fresno Police Department. The Unit is dedicated to helping Sexual Assault Victims. Unit staff includes two supervisors and eleven investigators.
The Sexual Assault Unit fulfills three functions:
- Investigating current and past incidents of sexual assaults or attempted assaults,
- Investigating criminal acts involving sexual deviance (e.g. child pornography), and
- Monitoring registered sex offenders pursuant California Penal Code § 290 (enforced by the Violators Of Innocent Children Eradicated (V.O.I.C.E.) Task Force (Task Force website).The Mission of the Sexual Assault Unit is:
- To effectively and efficiently investigate allegations of sexual assault that occur within the city of Fresno,
- To conduct all investigations in a fair and unbiased manner,
- To reduce the number of sexual assaults that occur within the City of Fresno through criminal prosecution and proactive enforcement.
All reports that allege a sex crime occurred are reviewed by the supervisors of the Sexual Assault Unit, and then appropriately assigned to a detective for follow-up investigation. Sexual Assault detectives investigate a wide range of sex crime allegations involving adults and children. Detectives interact with medical personnel, prosecutors, Child Protective Services, and a number of licensing and child advocacy organizations.
Four of the investigators assigned to the Sexual Assault Unit monitor over 1,600 registered sex offenders. If you need additional information regarding registered sex offenders within the city of Fresno, please click here.
The staff primarily works Monday through Friday, from 7 am to 5 pm. The general office telephone number is (559) 621-2460. Messages left over the weekend or after hours are retrieved during normal working hours. If you have a sexual assault emergency, call -911-.
THE CHILD VICTIM
Each year thousands of children suffer some type of sexual abuse. Who is the typical offender? In the vast majority of the sexual abuse cases involving children, the offender is known to the child and child's family (up to 90% of all cases, per the State of California, Department of Justice - http://www.meganslaw.ca.gov/facts.htm). In other words, the abuser is often a relative (close or distant) or a family friend. In response to this alarming statistic, you are encouraged to pay close attention to your child’s behavior even when they are around known individuals. Awareness and education will not only further protect the children of Fresno, it also averts sex offenses from ever occurring.
Because children are so trusting and defenseless, they are especially vulnerable to sexual assaults. If a child discloses being assaulted, take it seriously. Your response helps determine how the child will react to the abuse. Although it may be difficult, you are encouraged to remain calm. Explain that you are concerned about what happened, but not angry with the child. Many children feel guilty as if they had provoked the assault. Children need to be reassured that they are not to blame, and that they are right to tell you about what happened.
Sometimes a child may be too frightened or confused to talk directly about the abuse. Be alert for any changes in behavior that might suggest the child has suffered a disturbing experience.
WHAT SHOULD YOU DO IF YOU OR A LOVED ONE IS A VICTIM?
Seek help immediately!
Call -911- for medical assistance or go to a hospital emergency room in the event of injuries. When a sexual assault has just occurred, an important thing to remember is that the victim should not touch anything, change clothes, bathe, or douche until they have been to the hospital and contacted the police. Doing any of these things can destroy valuable evidence that is needed by the police to identify, arrest and convict the attacker.
Law enforcement officers and medical professionals are aware and empathetic to the emotional impact experienced by sexual assault victims. It may be difficult for victims to confide in strangers about what has happened. Every effort is made to have family members, friends, clergy or anyone the victim may want present to provide support during this difficult time.
Below are helpful links related to support services.
The Fresno Police Department Chaplaincy
Family Healing Center
Resource Center for Survivors
Marjaree Mason Center
Fresno County District Attorney’s Office (http://www.co.fresno.ca.us/Departments.aspx?id=156) (559) 488-3141
Fresno Council on Child Abuse Prevention “FCCAP” (http://www.fccap.org/) , (559) 268-1118
Victim / Witness Resource Center Page (http://www.fresno.gov/Government/DepartmentDirectory/Police/SelfHelpResources/Victim-WitnessInformation.htm)