WILLIAMSBRIDGE — NYPD Commissioner James O'Neill said he's considering reopening unsolved cases of acquaintance rape in Greenpoint following widespread outrage over a precinct commander's comments about an increase in neighborhood sex assaults.
"We are in ongoing discussions with the National Organization for Women," O'Neill said at a press conference at the Bronx Christian Fellowship Church, referring to to the group that demanded the NYPD reinvestigate the cases.
"We're looking probably sometime in the future to have a meeting and to look at all the cases. Right now we have advocacy groups that do come in, and they are reviewing cases with us. This might be part of that."
Jane Manning, director of advocacy at the National Organization for Women, said that the group had not heard from the commissioner's office.
"He has not responded," she said, adding that she was told someone would get back to the organization. "At this point we’re very hopeful that he will agree to meet with us. And we plan to keep asking until we get an answer.”
NOW has asked for acquaintance-rape cases in Greenpoint to be re-examined, for better citywide data about arrest records on acquaintance versus stranger rapes, and for a department-wide plan about how to ensure everyday patrol officers and precinct commanders understand that stranger and acquaintance rapes are equally serious offenses.
The move comes after DNAinfo New York reported that in 2016, police made arrests in just three of 13 sexual assaults reported in Greenpoint's 94th Precinct. Two of those arrests came in cases of stranger rape, while one involved an acquaintance rape with a 14-year-old.
Of the unsolved cases, two involved attempted rapes by taxi drivers, while the remaining eight were acquaintance rapes or attempted rapes, mostly involving coworkers and people who met on dating sights like Tinder, police said.
When describing the increase in sex crimes in the precinct — which were up 62 percent from eight the year before — 94th Precinct Commander Peter Rose said he wasn't "too worried" about the uptick because "they weren't "total-abomination rapes where strangers are being dragged off the streets."
"We hope that he will meet with us without delay," Manning added. "Captain Rose’s comments have lead to a crisis in public confidence that needs to be addressed promptly."