Police Official Sorry for 1994 Comments About Rape Victim

Deputy Commissioner John Miller admits he was wrong to tell reporters of doubts
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 13, 2018 7:13 AM CST
This 1994 sketch provided by the New York City police Department shows James Edward Webb, a serial rapist serving 75 years to life in prison. Police say they have new DNA tests linking Webb with the 1994...   (New York City Police Department via AP)
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(Newser) – A New York City police official apologized Friday to a rape victim he helped discredit almost 24 years ago. Deputy Commissioner John Miller said in a statement sent to the woman's lawyer that he was wrong to tell reporters that police doubted the woman's account of being raped in Brooklyn's Prospect Park. Police said this week that they had finally solved the crime by matching DNA found on the victim to serial rapist Edward Webb, who is in prison for other attacks. Miller, then the chief police spokesman, told reporters in 1994 that detectives believed there were inconsistencies in the woman's story. Per the AP, Miller said in his apology that "inappropriately sharing this information, which was the speculation of investigators, and ultimately proved to be incorrect, was a serious misjudgment on my part."

He added, "It re-victimized a person who was already the victim of a terrible crime. I sincerely apologize to her for that." Miller, now the deputy commissioner for counterterrorism and intelligence, was a source for Daily News columnist Mike McAlary, who wrote that police believed the attack was a "hoax." McAlary wrote at the time that police sources had told him that the woman invented her story because she wanted to bolster a speech she was to give at a rally about violence against lesbians. The woman sued McAlary for libel but a judge dismissed the case in part because McAlary had been relying on information from police. McAlary died in 1998. The victim has also called for apologies from the NYPD and the Daily News.

(Read more rape stories.)

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