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  • Deep Patel

Former Boston Police Union President Charged with Child Sex Abuse

Patrick Rose, a former President of the Boston Police Patrolmen’s Association, faces a litany of charges including the alleged repeated sexual assault of a 7 year-old relative over the course of five years. Arrested earlier this year in August, Rose is now facing 16 new charges and accusations which include that he sexually assaulted four additional children. Of the 16 charges, there are 1 11 counts of child rape and 5 counts of indecent assault and battery on a child under the age of 14. This has revealed something happens far too often with those in positions of power in our society: a history of partaking in acts of sexual assault.T he money and power that comes with these individuals often allows for a plethora of these crimes to be swept under the rug. The way Patrick Rose’s case and history of sexual assault has been dealt with up until now demonstrates elements of an uncomfortable truth, yet hope for the ones holding these individuals accountable.

Rose’s history of this unconscionable behavior stems from the 1990s, when the now 66 year-old Rose allegedly sexually assaulted three children. The fourth victim was allegedly abused within the past two years. Rose’s arraignment was held at the end of August for the 16 charges and according to the Boston Globe, he pled not guilty. The judge presiding over his case raised his bail from an initial amount of $250,000 to $270,000. Judge Coffey placed an order that in the meantime, Rose must surrender his passport to avoid any potential attempts to flee and constantly wear a GPS monitor. Additionally, Rose is prohibited from carrying firearms, gave up his license to carry, can not contact any of the victims, and must stay away from unsupervised contact with minors under the age of 16.

With the severity of the allegations and charges, these stipulations are the bare minimum to keep a potential child abuser off the streets and ensure the safety of children anywhere in his vicinity. However, it is quite concerning that if the first three alleged incidents occurred as early as the 1990s, it is only now, more than decades later, that the charges are being pressed. Could this delay in justice be attributed to the fact that his status as a police officer and president of the Boston Police Union led officers to sweep the offense under the rug until the last possible moment? We may not know the answer to this, but it is certainly worth giving some thought as this unfolds.

Sexual assault is something that sadly occurs far too often with figures of power. Especially with officers, police sexual misconduct is an issue that gets hidden in the shadows but needs to be addressed by both police training academies and state legislatures. According to a 2003 national study that was conducted by the Police Professionalism Initiative, 40% of the reported cases of police sexual misconduct involve teens and minors. As if this was not enough to illustrate police sexual misconduct with minors is a rampant issue, another 2010 study by the Cato Institute revealed that sexual abuse by law enforcement officials has the second highest citizen complaints behind excessive force. A database created by The Buffalo News illustrates that from 2005-2015 there was a law enforcement officer involved in a case of sexual misconduct at least once every 5 days. All of these results demonstrate that a large percentage of officers abuse the authority and power of their badge to take advantage of civilians and sexually assault them during traffic stops, arrests, and even mentorship programs which involve students interested in pursuing a path in law enforcement. Civilians who are arrested often can’t resist because once they are detained, they may even be in handcuffs which makes it extremely difficult to protect themself; add to that the fear for one’s life you have once you are at an armed officer’s will, and you see the horrific results we see today.

Unions and judicial doctrines such as qualified immunity make the process of bringing these officials’ crimes to light both exasperating and strenuous. If the very union these officers are a part of is the one that deals with the investigations of such crimes, odds are that they will both directly and indirectly sweep information under the rug to protect one of their members until the scrutiny from the media gives them no choice but to hold them accountable. This is likely what occurred with Patrick Rose and probably hundreds of other officers that are still free after committing such heinous acts. Qualified immunity shields government officials from being held personally responsible for constitutional violations such as the right to be free with excessive police force. Knowing they have this doctrine to protect them in the court of law, police officers with power can act with little to no worry because qualified immunity can serve as their defense and bar damages even if they have violated the established law. Change needs to happen now to end the horror that is police sexual misconduct.

As for Patrick Rose, latest developments show that he sent an email to his family after his arrest in which he referred to himself as a “monster,” which can be argued to be a confession. The statute of limitations may have an effect on the ability to bring some of the older incidents into the case, but he has still not posted bail because he is low on cash and his family is not cooperating with his requests for borrowing money. Rose is due back in Court on the 23rd of September and the investigation into him is still underway. From this whole situation, we need to both demand more accountability on behalf of law enforcement officers and punish them adequately for such evil acts. Until that can be achieved, justice will not be served.


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