BOSTON (AP) — Boston Police internal investigators found sufficient evidence in 1996 to support allegations that an officer sexually assaulted a minor, yet the officer remained on the force and was eventually returned to full duty, according to documents released Tuesday.
The internal affairs file was ordered released by acting Mayor Kim Janey after The Boston Globe reported earlier this month that Patrick Rose, a retired officer and the one-time president of the Boston Patrolmen’s Association, had been able to keep his badge despite a criminal complaint in 1995 for sexual assault on a 12-year-old child.
The criminal complaint was eventually dropped, but the department’s Internal Affairs Division concluded there was enough evidence to support the allegations, according to the documents. Then-Boston Police Commissioner Paul F. Evans was notified in a June 1996 memo of the results of the probe.
Rose had been relieved of his weapon and placed on administrative duty, but was returned to full duty after an attorney for the Boston Police Patrolmen’s Association wrote to the commissioner in October 1997 and threatened to file a grievance, according to the documents.
Janey called it “deeply unsettling and entirely unacceptable” that Rose remained on the force for two decades and eventually became head of the police union.
“What’s more, Rose was allowed to have contact with young victims of sexual assault during the course of his career, and we now know that he allegedly went on to assault several other children,” she said in an emailed statement. “His alleged behavior is disgusting, and the apparent lack of leadership shown by the department at the time is extremely troubling. This culture of secrecy cannot be tolerated.”
Rose now faces 33 charges involving six alleged victims. He has pleaded not guilty and his lawyer says he maintains his innocence.
“My client maintains his innocence to all of the charges that have been brought against him and he maintains his innocence to what was alleged to have transpired back in 1995,” attorney William J. Keefe told the Globe earlier this month. The Associated Press left a phone message for him on Tuesday.
A message seeking comment was left with the Boston Police Patrolmen’s Association. An email was sent to a Boston Police spokesperson.
City Councilor Andrea Campbell, a candidate for mayor, said the records show “the Boston Police Department and the Boston Police Patrolmen’s Association looked the other way and covered up sustained allegations that officer Patrick Rose had sexually assaulted a child.”
“Given the magnitude of this case, there needs to be an immediate outside, independent review of this case and the cover up,” she added.