Eliott C. McLaughlin for CNN reports:
A police officer in Prince George’s County, Maryland, was charged this week with raping a woman during a traffic stop. He’s pleaded not guilty, but it’s a disturbing headline — even more disturbing when you consider there are hundreds more like him.
Yes, hundreds. According to research from Bowling Green State University, police officers in the US were charged with forcible rape 405 times between 2005 and 2013. That’s an average of 45 a year. Forcible fondling was more common, with 636 instances.
Yet experts say those statistics are, by no means, comprehensive. Data on sexual assaults by police are almost nonexistent, they say.
One of the greatest impediments to understanding the scope of police sexual assault is the victims’ reluctance to report the crime.
“Opportunities for sex-related police crime abound because officers operate in a low visibility environment with very little supervision,” it says. “The potential victims of sex-related police crime include criminal suspects but also unaccompanied victims of crime.”
Researchers find that a predominance of the victims fall into at least one of several categories: They have criminal records, are homeless, are sex workers or have issues with drug or alcohol abuse. Essentially, predatory cops are “picking on people who juries won’t believe”