According to DNAinfo, last year there was a 62 percent increase in sexual assaults reported in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. The New York Police Department received 13 reports of rape or attempted rape in 2016, but Captain Peter Rose, head of the 94th Precinct, told the site, “It’s not a trend that we’re too worried about because out of 13, only two were true stranger rapes.”
At a Community Council meeting Wednesday night, Rose elaborated. “They’re not total abomination rapes where strangers are being dragged off the streets,” he said. “If there’s a true stranger rape, a random guy picks up a stranger off the street, those are the troubling ones. That person has, like, no moral standards.”
According to Rose, of the rapes or attempted rapes the NYPD is “not too worried about,” some were committed by people women met on Tinder, some by people from “other hookup sites,” and some by co-workers. In such acquaintance rape cases, Rose said charges were frequently dropped because “those are the people who aren’t cooperating.”
The 94th Precinct’s report is in line with statistics from the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network, which show that 70 percent of rapes are committed by someone the victim knows, and nearly 50 percent are committed by an acquaintance. “If you have the commander of a precinct making comments like that, he’s setting a tone for all the officers of a unit about how seriously to take acquaintance rape cases,” Jane Manning of the National Organization for Women told DNAinfo. “If you hear ‘I can’t get the victim to cooperate’ in case after case, you should be asking yourself, ‘What are they failing to do?’”
Update [1/6, 5:30 p.m.]: When reached for comment, New York Police Department Deputy Commissioner Stephen P. Davis replied with a statement that read:
Captain Rose’s comments did not properly explain the complexity of issues involved with investigating rape complaints. Every report of rape is thoroughly investigated by specially trained detectives in the NYPD’s Special Victims Unit. All complaints of rape and other types of sexual crimes are taken seriously whether they are committed by domestic partners, acquaintances, or strangers.
Due to the anonymous and random nature of rapes committed by strangers, detectives often face greater challenges in these types of crimes. Regardless, all sexual offenses are taken seriously.