An NYPD commander’s comments implying that stranger rape is worse than acquaintance rape were insensitive, the police commissioner said.
“The NYPD takes rape and sexual assault seriously, and we investigate every report thoroughly,” Police Commissioner James O’Neill said in an editorial in Tuesday’s Daily News.
Women’s groups have protested since Capt. Peter Rose of Brooklyn’s 94th Precinct made a distinction last week between acquaintance rapes and “total-abomination rapes where strangers are being dragged off the streets.”
Rose’s remarks were first reported by DNAinfo. In an interview with the news site, he also 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.”
O’Neill said the comments left “the misleading and inac-curate impression” that the NYPD treats stranger rapes and acquaintance rapes differently. He listed steps the department is taking to increase the percentage of rape victims who report the crimes, such as creating a special hotline for rape and sexual assault.
Rose himself took to Twitter on Monday to apologize for his comments.
“I failed to communicate accurately how I respond to reports of rape, and the actions the Department takes as a whole,” Rose wrote.
About two dozen members of the New York City chapter of the National Organization for Women chanted, “Every rape is a crime,” outside his precinct in Greenpoint on Tuesday.
“To suggest that any rape ‘is less serious’ revictimizes survivors of rape, creates a climate where women are more reluctant to report rape and stands between countless sexual assault victims and justice,” chapter head Sonia Ossorio said.