January 24, 2013

Capitol Offense

Police Mishandling of Sexual Assault Cases in the District of Columbia

Glossary / Examples of Statements
Summary
This Report
Research
Main Findings
Failure to Document and Investigate
Police Mistreatment of Victims
MPD Response
Inaction and Its Impact
Effective Approaches and Next Steps
Recommendations
To the United States Congress
To the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Criminal Justice Information Services Division Advisory Policy Board
To the United States Department of Justice Civil Rights Division
To the Council of the District of Columbia and the D.C. Mayor’s Office
To the Metropolitan Police Department
To Improve Accountability for the Follow-Up on Sexual Assault Cases
To Treat Sexual Assault Survivors Fairly
Methodology
I. Background
MPD Procedures for Investigating Sexual Assault
Reforms Since 2008
II. Police Failure to Document and Investigate
Missing Cases and the PD-251s
Stopping the Investigation Before it Begins
“Reported and Sex Crimes Closing”
“Office Information” Cases
Omitting Sex Offenses
“Misdemeanors”
Administrative Closures or Exceptional Clearances
Affidavits in Support of Arrest Warrants
III. Vulnerable Cases
Drug or Alcohol-Facilitated Sexual Assault
Additional Cases Involving Drugs or Alcohol That Raise Questions
Sex Workers
IV. Police Mistreatment of Victims
Questioning Survivors’ Credibility
Additional Illustrative Cases
Discouraging Forensic Exams and Reports
Additional Cases in Which Police Discouraged Reporting or Forensic Exams
Victim-Blaming
Additional Cases of Victim-Blaming
Requiring Detailed Interviews While the Victim is Traumatized
Police Unresponsiveness
Other Insensitive Behavior
Referrals to Community Resources
Training
V. Improving Sexual Assault Investigations
A Non-Judgmental, Victim-Centered Approach
Interviews
Advocates and Referrals to Community Resources
Cross-Disciplinary Collaboration
Leadership and Training
Accountability and Transparency
VI. International Human Rights Obligations
Private Actors
Non-Discrimination
Due Diligence
Treating Survivors with Dignity
Impunity
Acknowledgements
Appendix