Today: 19.01.2018
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18.01.2018

NYPD honcho apologizes to 1994 rape victim as she breaks silence.

A top NYPD official on Friday issued a stunning apology to the Prospect Park rape victim he helped discredit more than 23 years ago — as the victim spoke out for the first time since her case was finally solved. “As a police official—even one who’s job was to deal with the press—I had a...
Time: 19:57     Date: 12.01.2018
Metro News: NYPD honcho apologizes to 1994 rape victim as she breaks silence. NY Post 24 - US News

“While I learned that lesson 24 years ago, I most regret that it was at the expense of one of those who had the courage to come forward.”

Miller, then an NYPD spokesperson, told reporters in 1994 that police had doubts about the woman’s account, saying there was a lack of physical evidence and there appeared to be inconsistencies in her story.

He also acted as a source for Daily News columnist Mike McAlary, who wrote in a piece that said police believe the attack was a “hoax.”

“Inappropriately sharing this information, which was the speculation of investigators, and ultimately proved to be incorrect, was a serious misjudgment on my part,” Miller said in his apology statement.

“It re-victimized a person who was already the victim of a terrible crime. I sincerely apologize to her for that.”

The victim, a 27-year-old Yale graduate, was raped in Prospect Park while walking home with groceries.

Her case was recently solved after more than 23 years, when DNA evidence linked the crime to serial rapist James Edward Webb, 68, who serving 75 years to life at Sing Sing.

Here is the victim’s statement in its entirety:

“The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.” – the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., quoting Theodore Parker

I’m grateful to Detective Andrea Sorrentino, who worked tirelessly on my case back in 1994, and to Detective Sarah Mathers who solved it 23 years later. I’m grateful that someone believed the four women James Webb raped after he raped me, and that he was finally brought to justice. I’m extremely grateful that James Webb is not eligible for parole until 2070.

Immediately after I was raped, the policemen who responded drove me around the park, stopping and questioning black men who looked nothing like the description I had given them. When I told them that as a black woman that made me uncomfortable, that it made me feel unsafe, they were visibly angry. I also wrote a statement that my friends and colleagues read aloud that weekend at a rally protesting violence against lesbians in Park Slope. I guess that made someone at 1 Police Plaza very angry. To see in print that police sources had called me a liar had a silencing effect on me, to say the least. I paid a terrible, terrible price for my #MeToo.

Today larger societal issues are framing my personal experience of trauma, just as they did then. There are thousands of cold cases, thousands more rape kits from the 1990’s and beyond that have not been tested with modern technology. Don’t those victims deserve closure, too? There are still victims receiving substandard treatment from cops and ER doctors who don’t know how to deal with assault victims sensitively. Can’t we put training in place to correct that? Most disturbingly, stories of assault are still discounted; cases are not vigorously prosecuted. Schools and workplaces deal with sexual assaults as internal disciplinary matters instead of as what they are – crimes. #MeToo is not a movement, or a moment. It is an ongoing reality women have lived with that MUST CHANGE, starting now.

That’s the big picture. But I’m not big. I’m small, and brown, and a little insecure. I’ve been told I’m a good friend. I’m a mom. Just a person, really.

John Miller, I’m a person, just like the woman you were born from. You owe me an apology. NYPD, I’m a person, just like the rest of the taxpayers whom you exist to serve. You owe me an apology. Daily News, I am a person, whom you printed egregiously cruel lies about, without any real evidence. Those lies shattered what was left of my not-quite 26 year old psyche. You owe me an apology. A real human being cried countless tears over the pain you caused.

When the famous First Amendment lawyer Martin Garbus took up my case against the Daily News, his colleagues were shocked that he would sue the News on my behalf. I wondered aloud why he would risk his career to help me. He answered gravely, “The truth matters.”

“Lord, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill? He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart.” Psalm 15:1-3

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