Declining rape figures

A year later, progress in Baltimore sex offense investigations

A major category of crime is up substantially in Baltimore, and police and city officials are pleased.  Read more ...

Coordinator will oversee Baltimore sex assault investigation reforms

Continuing reforms to Baltimore's response to sexual assaults will be steered by a full-time coordinator who for the past six years has overseen residential programs at Howard County's domestic violence center.  Read more ...

Half of discarded city rape claims were misclassified

More than half of nearly 100 rape reports that Baltimore Police decided were false or baseless have been reclassified as rapes or other sex crimes, according to an audit presented Wednesday to a City Council panel.  Read more ...

New commander to oversee city police sex offense unit

Baltimore police have tapped a former homicide detective and commander of the Western District to oversee reforms in the beleaguered sex offense unit.  Read more ...

Testimony before Senate panel calls for more oversight of crime stats, broader definition of rape

— In Cleveland, women's claims that a sex offender had assaulted them were ignored, until police found the bodies of 11 women at the man's home. In Milwaukee, a woman tried to report being raped but was told at three different police stations to go someplace else; her attacker went on to commit more rapes. And in New York, police apologized for downgrading a felony sexual assault in an upper Manhattan park.  Read more ...

Reported rapes in Baltimore up 20 percent since policy shift

Rapes investigated by Baltimore police are up nearly 20 percent this year, a sharp increase since new procedures were sparked by a Baltimore Sun investigation showing the city leading the nation in rape reports dismissed by police.  Read more ...

U.S. Senate committee to hold hearing on rape investigations

Concerned that police departments nationwide fail to fully investigate rapes, a congressional committee will examine the issue next week at a hearing spurred partly by a Baltimore Sun examination of the systemic underreporting of sex crimes.  Read more ...

Prosecutor, council leader want independent audit of rape case

Prosecutor, council leader want independent audit of rape case

Baltimore's top prosecutor and City Council president called Wednesday for an outside agency to investigate rape complaints summarily dismissed by police detectives, saying that independent eyes are needed to ensure citizens' faith in the results.  Read more ...

Lack of police reports stalls review of city rape allegations

Lack of police reports stalls review of city rape allegations

Detectives have begun reviewing rape reports summarily dismissed by Baltimore police over the past 18 months, though efforts to discern why incident reports were not taken in hundreds of 911 calls to police have sputtered.  Read more ...

Rape cases dismissed by Baltimore police later found valid

Rape cases dismissed by Baltimore police later found valid

The young East Baltimore woman gave police a vivid description of her rape: A man snatched her off the street and used a pocketknife to force her into the darkness of Ellwood Park.  Read more ...

Focus on shootings contributed to neglect of city rape claims, Bealefeld says

Focus on shootings contributed to neglect of city rape claims, Bealefeld says

Baltimore Police Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III said a focus on homicides and nonfatal shooting investigations may have contributed to neglect of growing problems with the way the department investigated sex offenses.  Read more ...

City Council president calls for review of rape investigations

City Council president calls for review of rape investigations

City Council President Bernard "Jack" Young introduced a resolution Monday night calling for law enforcement officials to explain to the council the "factors behind Baltimore's troublingly high percentage of reported rape cases" that are categorized as false or baseless.  Read more ...

Protection from 'unfounding' of rape cases

The Sun investigation into police "unfounding" of rape cases in the city has brought an important issue to the forefront. As a pediatrician, I became aware of this practice two years ago when I received a call from the mother of a 14-year-old patient who wanted to bring her daughter to see me for a pregnancy test. Two weeks earlier, her daughter had been taken to an emergency department after she reported being forced to have intercourse by another teenager.  Read more ...

Commander tapped to oversee sex offense unit opts to retire

Commander tapped to oversee sex offense unit opts to retire

Days after the Baltimore Police Department announced that he would oversee reforms in the beleaguered sex offense unit, a popular district commander has opted to retire.  Read more ...

More than 20 victims have called rape hot line

More than 20 victims have called rape hot line

Twenty-one women who say their reports of rape or sexual abuse were dismissed by Baltimore police have reached out to a hot line established this week to ensure that officials are handling complaints properly.  Read more ...

City to gather past rape reports, claims of mistreatment through new hot line

City to gather past rape reports, claims of mistreatment through new hot line

City leaders are establishing a hot line for victims who believe their reports of rape or sexual assault were not investigated fully by police.  Read more ...

Peter Hermann: Downgrading rape cases historic problem

Peter Hermann: Downgrading rape cases historic problem

A competitor in a contested state's attorney's race called the Baltimore Police Department's rape unit a "gimmick."  Read more ...

Group to explore city rape reports

Group to explore city rape reports

A group of Baltimore government and law enforcement representatives plans to conduct a systematic review of rape reports that have been deemed "unfounded" by police investigators, in response to news reports showing the city leads the nation in such cases, officials said Monday.  Read more ...

Police to review rape case policies in wake of news story

Police to review rape case policies in wake of news story

Police Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III said Sunday that his department would work to improve how it categorizes and resolves rape investigations, responding to a newspaper report that found Baltimore has the nation's highest rate of cases that officers conclude are false or baseless.  Read more ...

Baltimore police and 'unfounded' rapes

Rape is different from other crimes. Not only does it involve a violation more profound than any other crime but it also comes with a social stigma that forces victims to relive the pain again and again. No one suggests that a victim of a carjacking was really asking for it. No one asks whether an assault might really have been consensual. When a robbery victim is on the witness stand, the most private details of her life are not dissected under cross examination.  Read more ...

City rape statistics, investigations draw concern

City rape statistics, investigations draw concern

The 32-year-old woman was walking through a midtown alley last January when a man pressed a gun to her shoulder and told her, "Don't scream."  Read more ...

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