Rape victim said NYPD rape kit fail shows problems persist

Rape victim said NYPD rape kit fail shows problems persist

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A rape survivor who signed a 2021 letter that helped spark a federal probe into the NYPD’s Special Victims Division is galled by the magnitude of the rape-kit bungle — and said even one neglected rape case is too many.

“Even if you have one victim, that’s one victim who may never get justice because they have been failed by the NYPD,” Leslie McFadden told The Post.

Seventy percent of women who say they have been raped don’t pursue charges, a police source said. Those who do, endure an invasive physical exam that can often be retraumatizing, McFadden said.

“It is not an easy or quick process, and to go through that process survivors need to be able to trust the system,” she said.

“They need to be able to expect that their kits will be tested in a timely manner if they choose to report it to the police,” she said. “That is not what has happened here, and that is unconscionable.”

A rape kit box includes an integrity seal and is dated and tied it to a particular case. TNS

McFadden was raped in October 2015 in Brooklyn and immediately reported the crime to the NYPD’s Special Victims Division.

But she said she was tricked into closing her case when a police officer misled her into signing the form that ended her case. 

Her alleged attacker, a coworker who drugged her, was never interviewed and the case was closed.

It was reopened in 2017 after she complained but too much evidence hadn’t been collected, she said.

The kits include evidence like bodily fluids and details about a victims injuries. lynnpeavey.com
The kits include the victim’s name and tracking information like when and where the exam was performed. MediaNews Group via Getty Images

“They did a very thorough investigation, but unfortunately, a lot of evidence had already been lost,” McFadden, now 40, said. “No one was ever interviewed originally. No one had gotten surveillance tapes or receipts.”

The content designer, who now lives in California, was one of 19 rape victims who signed the letter that prompted a Department of Justice investigation into the unit that remains ongoing today.


Tina Moore

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