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NYPD To Retrain Detectives, Reopen Cases After Commander's 'True Stranger Rape' Comments

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Fury over an NYPD precinct commander's comments downplaying date rape led to a sit-down between women's rights advocates and the police commissioner this week.

As WCBS 880's Alex Silverman reported, National Organization for Women New York chapter president Sonia Ossorio said the meeting with Commissioner James O'Neill was encouraging.

"I believe that he was really open to everything that we talked about," Ossorio said.

Capt. Peter Rose, of the 94th Precinct, was speaking at a community council meeting in early January when he made comments drawing a distinction between "true stranger rapes" and other kinds of rape.

Rose told the crowd the bulk of the recent sex attacks in the 94th precinct were "not total abomination rapes where strangers are being dragged off the street," according to a report by DNAInfo. "If there's a true stranger rape, a random guy picks up a stranger of the street. Those are the troubling ones. That person has, like, no moral standards."

O'Neill quickly said he considers all rapes equally intolerable and equally deserving of investigation, and said he is open to reopening unsolved date rape cases.

Ossorio said at the meeting Wednesday, O'Neill committed to reexamining the unsolved acquaintance rape cases in Greenpoint, and to more training for special victims detectives around the city.

The NYPD confirmed to WCBS 880 that there will be a nine-day program focused on how to interview trauma victims. Ossorio said sometimes police just do not know how to get through.

"It's kind of a classic way to be done with the case to just say the witness was uncooperative," she said.

Ossorio said O'Neill mentioned focus groups with crime victims to gauge how they are treated by detectives. She thinks the sessions should be specifically focused on sex assault victims.

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