Police officers in the US were charged with more than 400 rapes over a 9-year
By Eliott C. McLaughlin CNN
October 19th, 2018
Yes, hundreds. According to research
from Bowling Green State University
, police officers in the US were
charged with forcible rape 405 times between 2005 and 2013. That's an
average of 45 a year. Forcible fondling was more common, with 636 instances.
Yet experts say those statistics are, by no means, comprehensive. Data on
sexual assaults by police are almost nonexistent, they say.
"It's just not available at all," said Jonathan Blanks, a research associate
with the Cato Institute's Project on Criminal Justice. "You can only
crowdsource this info."
The BGSU researchers compiled their list by documenting cases of sworn
nonfederal law enforcement officers who have been arrested. But the 2016
federally funded paper, "Police
Integrity Lost: A Study of Law Enforcement Officers Arrested
," says the
problem isn't limited to sexual assault.
"There are no comprehensive statistics available on problems with police
integrity," the report says, and no government entity collects data on
police who are arrested.
It adds, "Police sexual misconduct and cases of police sexual violence
are often referred to as hidden offenses, and studies on police sexual
misconduct are usually based on small samples or derived from officer
surveys that are threatened by a reluctance to reveal these cases."
The nation's foremost researchers on the subject, thus, must often rely
on published media reports. The BGSU numbers, for instance, are the
result of Google alerts on 48 search terms entered by researchers. The
scholars then follow each case through adjudication.
While those numbers represent a fair portion of cases, arrests rely on a
victim making a report and a law enforcement agency making that report
public, after an arrest or otherwise. With sexual assaults by police
officers, neither is guaranteed.
Why the numbers are lacking
One of the greatest impediments to understanding the scope of police
sexual assault is the victims' reluctance to report the crime.
"Who do you call when your rapist or offender is a police officer? What
a scary situation that must be," said Philip Stinson, an associate
professor of criminal justice who served as principal investigator for
the police integrity paper and whose research assistants maintain the
No one interviewed for this story could give an estimate, even ballpark,
on how underreported these types of crimes might be.
"I have to think it's a much worse problem than my data suggests," said
Stinson, himself a former police officer.
There are several reasons behind the muddy data. The federal government
cannot compel states to make the nation's 18,000 law enforcement agencies
report the numbers. Even if they could, the Justice Department wouldn't have
the resources to oversee and maintain such a database, Blanks said.
Unions also work hard to protect police officers and their reputations, he
"They don't want their officers and membership shamed if something goes
wrong," Blanks said.
There also can be legal hurdles to obtaining basic information in such
cases, he said, "and that's on purpose." Some states' laws shield the
identities of police officers who commit crimes, he said, while some
jurisdictions include nondisclosure agreements in victim settlements.
"The system is rigged to protect police officers from outside
accountability," Blanks said. "The worst cops are going to get the most
Victims include suspects and those police are supposed to protect
What data is available paints a jarring picture. One statistic from Stinson
indicates that for every sexual assault that makes the news, there are
almost always more victims -- on average, five more.
About half of the victims are children, researchers say. Stinson has gotten
accustomed to hearing his research assistants proclaim during their work,
"Oh my God, it's another 14-year-old."
Victims can include both the people police are supposed to be chasing and
those they're charged with protecting, according to the police integrity
"Opportunities for sex-related police crime abound because officers operate
in a low visibility environment with very little supervision," it says. "The
potential victims of sex-related police crime include criminal suspects but
also unaccompanied victims of crime."
Experts say officers who prey on people they encounter while on duty take
advantage of the trust the public places in police as an institution.
"Police have a reputational advantage over anyone, especially someone
accused of a crime," Blanks said, explaining that a
regular Gallup poll shows
again and again that police are third only to
the military and small business owners in terms of trust. "People want to
believe the police."
Offenders who seek to victimize people know this, experts say, and they
strategically select victims, bolstering their chances of not getting
Researchers find that a predominance of the victims fall into at least one
of several categories: They have criminal records, are homeless, are sex
workers or have issues with drug or alcohol abuse. Essentially, predatory
cops are "picking on people who juries won't believe or who don't trust
police," Stinson said.
The ripple effect
To be clear: The majority of police officers are good people, not sexual
predators. Every expert interviewed for this story concurs on this point.
But the problem is much larger than individual officers, said author and
former Seattle Police Chief Norm Stamper.
"I think it's a huge problem," he said. "In reality, there's probably no law
enforcement agency that has not had this problem."
The ripple effect can be devastating to a community. Stamper, who was a
policeman in San Diego for 28 years before taking the helm in Seattle in
1994, recalled when California
Highway Patrol officer Craig Peyer was convicted of the on-duty killing of
student Cara Knott
after a traffic stop.
No San Diego officer was tangentially involved, yet the department
experienced enormous trust issues with the community, he said. Residents
were fearful and some motorists were anxious about being pulled over, said
Stamper, whose books
address the "dark side" of policing and how to fix it.
"It cheats good cops," he said. "If a police officer is arrested for having
fondled a DUI suspect in a jurisdiction, that affects all officers."
The trust issue is only exacerbated by the "blue wall" of silence that's
erected when an officer is accused of a crime, he said. That's to be
expected, Stamper said, because officers rely heavily on each other,
especially in dangerous situations, and ratting out a colleague could mean
trouble for an officer the next time she or he needs backup.
"If I'm a snitch, then the chance that my fellow officers will not have my
back is significant," the former police chief said.
Some possible solutions
Stamper and others believe the solution lies in revamping police culture.
"The paramilitary, bureaucratic structure produces a dysfunctional culture,"
Stamper said, adding that for one of the "most delicate and demanding" jobs
in America, officers largely go unsupervised.
Specific to sexual assault, experts would like to see departments enact:
- Policies "to make victims feel safe,"
Stinson said, which could include online or anonymous reporting and
special officers trained in dealing with sexual assault victims
- GPS tracking of officers, especially
those with take-home vehicles, and monitoring of officers. If a
supervisor notices a patrolman predominantly stops women between the
ages of 18 and 30 at the same time of night in the same part of town, it
would raise red flags
- Rules forbidding departments from
hiring officers who were fired from other agencies, which happens too
frequently, Stamper said
- Mandates that officers must activate
their bodycams and dash cams and be punished if they don't. (This will
actually vindicate officers more often than not, experts say)
- Occasional sting operations,
involving internal affairs, aimed at ensuring police officers are
appropriately interacting with the public
"It's critical supervisors trust officers, but trust is earned," Stamper
said, adding that the job is too important to trust officers blindly.
Police chiefs and sheriffs defending bad cops also erodes trust, Stamper
said. He finds himself frustrated, he said, every time he sees a police
executive step to a podium to decry the "bad apples" responsible for a crime
that has tainted a department.
"If they repeatedly go back to that bank of microphones to bemoan the bad
apples, it's time to look at the barrel. ... Look at the orchard," he said.
Are national standards in order?
Accountability is critical to changing police culture, experts say.
Stamper believes uniformity -- via the licensing of individual officers and
the certification of police departments -- is key.
All 18,000 departments operate under their own rules, based on their
traditions, policies, procedures and recruitment methods, he said. He
believes creating national standards -- not for small things, but for larger
constitutional issues -- could improve the quality of policing.
If a licensed officer were to violate someone's rights -- by illegally
searching or arresting them, manipulating evidence, using unnecessary force
or, of course, engaging in sexually predatory behavior -- that officer's
license would be yanked.
Likewise, a city police department with a pattern of violations could lose
its certification and be taken over the by the county. An offending
sheriff's department could be taken over by the state, he said.
It's pie in the sky, Stamper acknowledges, but until America changes the
nature of the conversation around policing, things are destined to remain
the same when it comes to crooked cops.
"The forces of resistance are powerful," he said. "If you push the system,
it's going to push back with equal or greater force."
Commentary by the Ottawa Mens Centre
Sexual assault and abuse of power is rarely ever brought to public
In the world of Police, sexual assault takes many forms.
Its effectively human trafficking except generally and like the police
the world over, some members of the Ottawa police officers get their sex
It's systemic and habitual.
It works like this. Any female wanting a favour from a police officer
knows what to do.
Any police officer wanting to get sex in exchange for a favour also
knows what to do.
Ottawa Police lay charges and stay charges based on gender, and its
common knowledge that after a cop does a favour, he will return for his
favour to be returned.
That often ends up in a relationship of convenience, a corrupt
relationship, that brings the administration of justice into ill repute.
Then there us Constable
Van T NGUYEN Badge No. 952
This corrupt evidence fabricating rotten cop visited a very violent
while on duty with out any reason months after he fabricated evidence
NOT charge her.
NGUYEN colluded with two other Rotten cops of the Ottawa Police.
W. SMITH Badge No. 880
Det Now Sgt. Peter Van Der Zander.
Van Der Zander. was promoted AFTER the Ottawa Police knew he
fabricated evidence, as did several of the Crown Attorneys of
Ottawa and the Local Children's Aid Society who all colluded in have
charges stayed and charges laid to suit their political reasons to
Van Der Zander, Constable
Van T NGUYEN Badge No. 952
from charges of Obstructing Justice and fabricating evidence.
Everyone in Ottawa should take a careful note of the names of these
Rotten Ottawa Cops.
Sgt. Peter Van Der Zander.
Take a good look at this creep who actually fabricates evidence
to NOT charge violent women.
His unpublished number ends up in the hands of those seeking
a favour. In return, he intimidates, harasses, fabricates evidence and
brings discredit to
all the other Ottawa Police officers who have more ethics.
If you have been a victim of any of these officers please email