NEW YORK – 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 a serial rapist 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.
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.”
The woman’s attorney, Martin Garbus, said Miller’s apology was not enough.
“Miller and the police did not make a bookkeeping mistake,” Garbus said in an email to The Associated Press. “The police because of racism and sexism abused Jane Doe and called an honest woman a liar and hoaxer.”
The woman, now 51 years old, is African-American. The Associated Press does not generally identify victims of sexual assault.