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The Mass Media

Former Boston Police officer and union president sentenced for multiple charges of child sexual abuse

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Bianca Oppedisano
Patrick Rose depicted in a courtroom. Illustration by Bianca Oppedisano / Mass Media Staff

**Trigger Warning: This article recounts the sexual abuse of children in the Boston community**

On April 25, in Suffolk Superior Court, former Boston Police Union President Patrick Rose plead guilty to the sexual abuse of six different children. He was sentenced to 10 to 13 years in prison and 10 years probation where he will be required to register as a sex offender.  

Rose faced 33 charges surrounding the rape and abuse of multiple children aging between 7 and 16 at his home in West Roxbury. His cycle of abuse lasted from 1993 to 2020. 12 of these charges were dismissed in his trial.  

Rose’s first criminal investigation was in 1995 when he was accused of sexually assaulting a 12-year-old. A criminal investigation was originally in play until, after pressure from the defendant, the child recanted his statement. According to a 2007 study, the phenomenon of young victims recanting testimony is common, with roughly one out of four retracting allegations, particularly when met with old fashioned interview tactics such as those used in the 1990s. 

However, an internal investigation into the accusation found evidence warranting its validity, yet Rose was allowed to continue to work on the Boston Police force. The Boston Globe reported in April 2021 that “Rose was allowed to keep his badge for 20 years after top police officials determined he more than likely sexually abused a child in 1995.” A request for Rose’s termination, despite the conclusion that he likely molested the child, was never filed by the Boston Police Department and he went on to serve on the force for 21 years. Sometime after the criminal investigation, he became the president of the patrolman union.

Rose was also still involved in child sexual abuse cases following the 1995 allegation. In 1999, he was dispatched to handle a case where a 14-year-old girl called to report that she had been raped. In 2006, he was the arresting officer in a child sexual assault case and was called to testify in front of the court. 

In August 2020, a teenage daughter and her father came forward to report that the girl had been sexually abused by Rose from the ages of 7 to 12. The report led to Rose’s arrest and a subsequent five people coming forward with abuse charges of their own. According to psychologist Howard Fradkin, the average abuse survivor takes between 20 to 30 years to report their crime.

At Rose’s sentencing on April 25, some of the victims of his crimes had their opportunity to speak on their experiences with their victim impact statements. The youngest survivor of Rose’s crimes strongly addressed Rose in court saying: “You might have hurt me for three years straight, but now I’m getting stronger and stronger. Now, all the anger and hatred isn’t pointed towards myself. It’s pointed towards you.” 

A father of an abuser and a victim himself also addressed Rose on their trauma: “Never did I expect to see that thousand mile stare [in my own child’s face]. Countless PTSD breakdowns, nights spent in hospital rooms … knowing it’s because you hurt [us], haunts me every minute of every day.” 
A third survivor confronted him and condemned Rose: “[Your] actions since you’ve been arrested have shown how selfish and heartless you truly are. This past 20 months could have been spent healing … but I can’t sleep one night without seeing your face. You tried your hardest to discredit me from a very young age. Now I can finally let go of the shame and embarrassment I’ve carried with me my entire life, and we can finally see justice.” 

Judge Mary Ames celebrated the strength of the survivors in court on April 25, and slighted Rose who broke down with pleas of forgiveness and cries of apologies: “The strength you have demonstrated is unbelievable … and my wish for you all is peace. Frankly, Mr. Rose, they owe you nothing. You may beg their forgiveness, and perhaps they have forgiveness in their hearts, but they owe you nothing.” 

About the Contributors
Sean Liddy, News Writer
Bianca Oppedisano, Illustrator