ACTING MAYOR KIM JANEY released information from the internal affairs investigation of former police officer Patrick Rose Sr. that paints a damning picture of the conduct of leaders of the Boston Police Department in the mid 1990s, including then-commissioner Paul Evans, who allowed Rose to return to active duty after investigators concluded he had committed sexual assault on a minor.
“Based on a review of former officer Rose’s internal affairs file conducted by the City’s Law Department, it is clear that previous leaders of the police department neglected their duty to protect and serve,” Janey said in a statement released along with the internal affairs documents. “Despite an internal affairs investigation in 1996 that found credible evidence to sustain the allegation against Rose for sexually assaulting a minor, it appears that the police department made no attempt to fire him.”
Rose was arrested and charged last August after a teenage girl and her father went to a Boston police station to report that Rose had repeatedly molested her from age 7 to 12. Earlier this month, the Boston Globe reported that accusations of child sexual abuse against Rose were well known to the department, which filed a criminal complaint against him in 1995. Although the complaint was ultimately dropped because the victim recanted, the Globe reported that an internal affairs investigation concluded that Rose had likely committed a crime against the minor.
Six victims have now come forward to allege sexual assault while they were minors by Rose, who remained on the police force despite the internal affairs finding. Rose eventually became president of the Boston Police Patrolmen’s Association, the city’s largest police union.
Former mayor Marty Walsh had resisted efforts by the Globe to obtain internal affairs records on Rose, with his administration refusing to hand over information even after the state supervisor of public records ruled that the city did not have grounds for withholding the records.
Details of the investigation itself were not released, with the city’s corporation counsel, Henry Luthin, citing state law requiring that information on sexual assault, including interviews with victims, be kept confidential.
But the information that was released makes clear that Evans, the city’s police commissioner at the time, and the captain overseeing the Dorchester district where Rose worked were both informed of the internal affairs findings concluding Rose had committed the acts being investigated.
A June 17, 1996, memo to Evans from the head of the department’s internal affairs division said the complaint against Rose had been sustained by investigators. The same information was conveyed in an October 18, 1996, memo to Captain Robert Dunford, the longtime commander of the Dorchester district where Rose worked.
Despite the internal affairs findings, the department apparently made no effort to fire Rose, who had been restricted to administrative duty during the probe. Instead, after the police officers’ union wrote to Evans in October 1997 to say it was considering filing a grievance on Rose’s behalf, he was reinstated to full active duty.
“It is deeply unsettling and entirely unacceptable that Rose remained on the force for two decades and eventually became the president of the Boston Police Patrolmen’s Association,” Janey said in her statement. “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. 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.”
Evans and Dunford could immediately be reached on Tuesday afternoon. Dunford told the Globe on Tuesday that he was never informed why Rose had been put on administrative leave.
The Boston Police Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the internal affairs file.
Janey, who took over from Walsh on March 22 when he resigned to become US labor secretary, came under strong pressure to reverse his position against releasing information on the case. Several city councilors, including Andrea Campbell and Michelle Wu, who are vying against Janey in the fall election, pressed her last Monday to release the information. Janey announced later that day that she had instructed the city’s law department to immediately review the files and determine what could be released publicly without jeopardizing the confidentiality guaranteed to victims of sexual assault.
“The records released today make it clear that leadership in 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,” Campbell said in a statement released Tuesday afternoon. “This cover up rose to the highest leadership levels of the Boston Police Department and protected and enabled him to target and abuse other children. There is no greater violation of trust and no failure of leadership more sickening.
Campbell called for an outside, independent review of the case and said “Bostonians deserve to know who else in BPD was aware of [Rose’s] crimes and failed to act as they should be held accountable.”
State Rep. Jon Santiago, who is also running for mayor, said the revelations on Rose “and the cover up that kept him on the Boston Police Department are shocking and unforgivable. Rose’s horrifying conduct—which was known and ignored by officials entrusted with the protection of our community—enabled more young people in our city to be endangered when they should have been shielded from a known predator.”