Despite #MeToo, rape cases still confound police



(27 Dec 2018) FOR CLEAN VERSION SEE STORY NUMBER: apus109525

VOICE-OVER SCRIPT:
IN THE WAKE OF THE #METOO MOVEMENT THE NUMBER OF RAPES BEING REPORTED TO POLICE HAS JUMPED SIGNIFICANTLY, PUTTING A STRAIN ON POLICE DEPARTMENTS AROUND THE COUNTRY.
AND IT COMES AMID A TROUBLING YEARS LONG TREND IN WHICH POLICE ARE RESOLVING A HISTORICALLY LOW PERCENTAGE OF RAPE CLAIMS.
ONE OF THOSE IS BY SAM GASPARDO.
SOUNDBITE (English) Sam Gaspardo, Reported Sexual Assault:
“With the situation I blacked out a lot of the details so the exact time frame or the date I don’t remember.”
A YEAR AND A HALF LATER, GASPARDO REPORTED TO POLICE THAT SHE WAS RAPED BY AN EX-BOYFRIEND .
THEY SAID THERE WAS NOT ENOUGH EVIDENCE.
SOUNDBITE (English) Sam Gaspardo, Reported Sexual Assault:
“They said they couldn’t prove that force was used.”
GRAPHIC:
ACCORDING TO FBI STATISTICS, POLICE CLEARED JUST 32.1 PERCENT OF RAPE CASES IN 2017. THAT’S DOWN FROM 48.5% TWENTY YEARS AGO.
SOUNDBITE (English) Joseph Giacalone, John J. College Professor/Retired NYPD Sergeant:
“A clearance happens to be when the police make an arrest and then they bring the person to court. That’s basically it. That has nothing to do with going to trial that’s just has to be with an arrest, so you look at that clearance rate this is a police problem not so much the prosecutor problem.”
JOSEPH GIACALONE (pronounced Jack Alone) TEACHES FUTURE POLICE OFFICERS AT JOHN JAY COLLEGE OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE.
SOUNDBITE (English) Joseph Giacalone, John J. College Professor/Retired NYPD Sergeant:  
“I mean in the age of DNA and forensics and video surveillance and cell phone technology you know all the different aspects we can put people at the crime scene our clearance rates are dropping they are abysmal.”
HE SAYS IT’S TIME TO CREATE A NATIONWIDE STANDARD ON HOW VICTIMS ARE INTERVIEWED.
JOSIE TORIELLI, WHO WORKS WITH SEXUAL ASSAULT SURVIVORS, SAYS POLICE OFTEN APPROACH RAPE CLAIMS AS FALSE UNTIL PROVEN TRUE.
SOUNDBITE (English) Josie Torielli, NYC Alliance Against Sexual Assault:
“What we know about sexual assault investigation is that the traditional approach to investigating a crime and finding out details like ‘what happened and when and who did this’ are not necessarily the right approach to getting optimal and the best information from a victim. In a trauma informed approach we are really saying ‘why don’t we start from what you do remember and what can you tell me about the experience that you had’ and really letting the victim lead that interview and lead where the investigation goes.”
SAM GASPARDO SAYS REPORTING HER RAPE LEFT HER FEELING DISMISSED.
SOUNDBITE (English) Sam Gaspardo, Reported Sexual Assault:
“I have been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder so blocking it out in my memory and not remembering anything until almost a year-and-a-half later there was nothing I could have done. Because in my mind it didn’t happen. I was just blocked and I know with a lot of assault cases with PTSD it’s hard to do anything with that.”
LIKE IN GASPARDO’S CASE, A LARGE PERCENTAGE OF RAPE ACCUSATIONS ARE REPORTED MONTHS OR YEARS AFTER THE FACT. AND SEXUAL ASSAULT IS AMONG THE MOST CONFOUNDING CRIMES POLICE CONFRONT, AS MANY INVESTIGATIONS LACK WITNESSES AND PHYSICAL EVIDENCE.
  
TED SHAFFREY, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS, NEW YORK.

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