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Baltimore County Police and Fire News

Official News Blog of Baltimore County police, fire, homeland security and emergency management. Call 911 to report crimes in progress and emergencies.
Keyword: sexual assault

Baltimore County Police are investigating the sexual assault of a 23-year-old woman last Thursday night in the 7000 block of York Road in Precinct 6, Towson.

The crime occurred around 7:40 p.m. when an unknown male approached a woman from behind as she was walking southbound on York Road near Dumbarton Road and sexually assaulted her. He then fled the area northbound on York Road.

The woman sought help from a nearby resident, who called police.

The woman was able to describe the suspect as a black male with a medium complexion, 5'3 - 5'5, wearing a dark hooded sweatshirt.

Anyone with information on this crime or suspect is asked to contact Baltimore County Police at 410-307-2020.

Anyone with information on this case can also submit a tip to Metro Crime Stoppers at 1-866-7LOCKUP. For more information on other ways to contact Metro Crime Stoppers, as well as information on rewards offered by or through them, check their website at www.metrocrimestoppers.org. Metro Crime Stoppers, an organization that is separate from the Baltimore County Police Department and Baltimore County Government, offers rewards for information in connection with felony offenses. Anonymous tips can be sent to Metro Crime Stoppers by phone, text message, or online.

Today, BCoPD Chief Jim Johnson addressed several issues raised in a September 8, 2016 Buzzfeed article regarding unfounded rape cases.

While noting that the article contains numerous misrepresentations, Chief Johnson said it also raises valid concerns about the handling of reported rape cases in Baltimore County. County Executive Kevin Kamenetz has asked Johnson to review how the agency handles unfounded rape cases.

"As a former prosecutor," Kamenetz said, "my expectation is that every allegation of sexual assault be given thorough professional review.  I am extremely concerned about these serious allegations, and I have directed Chief Johnson to provide me with additional information about how the department has and will handle rape cases."

“We live in a time of growing awareness of the complexities of sexual assault,” Johnson said. “Nationwide, the focus is and should be on victims. This Department has a responsibility to treat victims with respect, investigate these cases and to pursue all cases that meet the legal standard for rape.”

Re-Examining Unfounded Cases

Chief Johnson has directed the Criminal Investigation Bureau to re-examine all unfounded rape cases that have occurred over the last three years.

“While each of these cases already has been investigated, we will take a fresh look to ensure that the investigation was handled properly and that justice was done,” Johnson said.

Contrary to the headline of the Buzzfeed article, every individual who reports a rape is interviewed by a Baltimore County police officer. The officer responding to the report conducts the interview and consults with an investigator assigned to the Special Victims Unit. Officers, detectives and multiple supervisors review the case and determine whether the specific incident meets the legal critera for rape in the state of Maryland. Officers also routinely consult with the Baltimore County State’s Attorney on rape cases.

October 2014 Case

The Buzzfeed article relies heavily on an October 12, 2014 case involving a woman who fell asleep in her car after becoming intoxicated and who reports she was raped by a man who invited her to drive to his home to recover. (A redacted copy of this report is provided.)  The woman told police she talked with the suspect for an hour and accepted an invitation to watch a movie in his bedroom before he had unwanted sex with her. She told police she did not want to prosecute. SVU ruled the case unfounded.

The woman apparently told Buzzfeed that she later changed her mind and that she had contacted the officer who investigated her case with additional information. Johnson has asked detectives and the Office of the State’s Attorney to take another look at this case.

The Buzzfeed article falsely asserts that “in at least 15 cases … police wrote that the victims didn’t fight back hard enough." A review by BCoPD of each of the reports provided to Buzzfeed indicates that the Buzzfeed allegation is not accurate.

Chief Johnson noted that, as the article states, Baltimore County was the only jurisdiction (among many across the country contacted by Buzzfeed for this article) that provided records to Buzzfeed's reporters. "We have nothing to hide," Johnson said. "While we dispute many of Buzzfeed's assertions, we intend to use this article as an opportunity to see if our procedures can be refined and improved."

Original release (December 24, 2015  3:30 p.m.):

The Baltimore County Police Department is investigating a sexual assault that occurred last night on the grounds of the Montessori School in the 10800 block of Tony Drive 21093.
 
The initial investigation into this incident has indicated that around 6:30 p.m., a woman was approached by the suspect. The suspect displayed a handgun and demanded her cell phone and money. He then assaulted her and took her to a secluded area nearby where he sexually assaulted her. The suspect later put the victim in her car and drove to the 3700 block of Sylvan Drive 21207 where he exited the vehicle and fled the scene.
 
The suspect is described as a dark- skinned male approximately six feet tall, wearing all black baggy clothing, gloves, and a black mask.

This incident is under investigation by the Baltimore County Police Department Special Victims Unit. Detectives will be working to determine if this was a targeted crime.

Police have increased patrols in the area of the incident.
 
Anyone with information on this case is asked to call Baltimore County Police at 410-307-2020 or Metro Crime Stoppers at 1-866-7LOCKUP.


Callers to Metro Crime Stoppers

If your tip to the Metro Crime Stoppers hotline leads to the arrest and/or indictment of a suspect, for a felony crime, you may be eligible for a cash reward of up to $2,000 from Metro Crime Stoppers. Your tip must be made through Metro Crime Stoppers in order to be eligible.

If you have information on the above crime/suspect please call, text, or e-mail: Metro Crime Stoppers hotline available 24-hours a day toll free.

You can remain anonymous.

Phone: 1-866-7LOCKUP

Text message: Text "MCS" plus your message to "CRIMES" (274637)

Web tip: www.metrocrimestoppers.org

 
 
Revised September 27, 2016