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Ex-Boston officer stayed on force despite abuse allegation

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BOSTON (AP) — A former Boston police officer and union chief, charged with molesting multiple children, first faced child abuse allegations in the mid-1990s, according to a published report.

Patrick Rose Sr., 66, a retired officer and the one-time president of the Boston Police Patrolmen’s Association, was initially charged last August when a father and his teenage daughter reported that the girl had been repeatedly molested by Rose from age 7 through 12.

Within weeks, five more people came forward to accuse Rose of molesting them as children.

The Boston Police Department in 1995 filed a criminal complaint against Rose for sexual assault on a 12-year-old child, The Boston Globe reported Sunday.

The criminal complaint was eventually dropped, but an internal investigation concluded that Rose likely committed a crime. He was allowed to stay on the force, and was often sent to respond to cases involving children.

Boston police have refused to release records pertaining to the 1995 case and it remains unclear what, if any, disciplinary action was taken against Rose at that time.

Rose pleaded not guilty to 33 total charges involving six alleged victims and is being held on $200,000 cash bail.

“My client maintains his innocence to all of the charges that have been brought against him and he maintains his innocence to what was alleged to have transpired back in 1995,” his attorney, William J. Keefe, said.

The Boston Police Department in a statement said it was legally prohibited from commenting “on the facts and circumstances of the 1995 investigation of these horrific allegations.”

Suffolk District Attorney Rachael Rollins said in a statement she found it troubling that Boston police did not properly discipline Rose or restrict his access to children.

“The allegations from decades ago are an example of how systems can fail people,” Rollins said.

Acting Mayor Kim Janey is promising more transparency.

“It is appalling that there was a documented history of alleged child sexual abuse, yet this individual was able to serve out his career as an officer and eventually become the head of the patrolmen’s union for several years,” she said in a statement. “Under no circumstance will crimes of this nature be tolerated under my administration, and we will not turn a blind eye to injustices as they arise.”

Boston’s police department has a history of protecting officers from accountability, particularly if they are white, like Rose, said retired deputy superintendent Willie Bradley.

“The police department’s refusal to actually deal with this issue is a direct contributor to what happened,” Bradley, who is Black and now a lecturer and professor at multiple area colleges, told The Boston Globe. “It would have been out there and people would have been aware of it, but they hid it.”

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