Police Commit Significant Number of Sex Crimes, Which May Shock the General Public but Not Those Familiar with Law Enforcement
by Kevin Bliss
A paper by Bowling Green State University (“BGSU”) researchers titled “Police Integrity Lost: A Study of Law Enforcement Officers Arrested” attempts to document police crime across the country, but it is incomplete because of lack of reporting.
For example, the paper reveals that from 2005 to 2011, police nationwide (not including federal law enforcement officers) were responsible for myriad sex crimes — an average of 45 forcible rapes per year, as well as 71 instances of sexual fondling, and 24 forcible sodomies. That doesn’t even include indecent exposure, sexual assault with an object, and statutory rape.
The report, however, is not comprehensive because the researchers gathering the data believe non-reported incidents of sexual assault by police officers were just as high, if not higher, than reported incidents. BGSU researcher Jonathan Blanks stated that the crime information is not readily available.
Researchers compiled the current database from the limited number of documented cases of non-federal law enforcement officers who have been arrested that they obtained by searching key words and phrases on the internet. Many states seal this information to keep it from the public and include nondisclosure clauses in victim settlements. “The system is rigged to protect police officers from outside accountability. The worst cops are going to get the most protection,” Blanks said. Associate Professor of Criminal Justice Philip Stinson said many of the victims do not even report incidents. “Who do you call when your rapist or offender is a police officer? What a scary situation that must be,” he said. Stinson added that for every instance of sexual assault reported, five are not. The report notes that police operate in an environment that has low visibility and little supervision, which boosts the potential for sex-related police crimes. It suggests that police who seek to victimize people generally target the homeless, those with criminal records, people in the sex trade, or those with drug and alcohol problems. These are people who are less likely to report an incident and less likely to be believed if they do. The report goes on to argue that the erosion of public trust over an officer convicted of a sex crime is devastating. Residents become fearful and motorists are more reluctant to be pulled over for a simple traffic stop. The report concludes with a few suggestions that would help prevent police-initiated sex crimes: GPS tracking of officers, allowing anonymous reporting of criminal activity, forbidding employment for those fired from other departments, harsher punishments for officers failing to use their body and dash cams, and occasional sting operations.
Former San Diego Police Chief Stamper said, “If they repeatedly go to the bank of microphones to bemoan the bad apples, it’s time to look at the barrel ... Look at the orchard.”
As a digital subscriber to Criminal Legal News, you can access full text and downloads for this and other premium content.
Already a subscriber? Login