City Council to Investigate Ocme Rape Case Mistakes

Reports: Coroner’s Files Mishandled

In light of revelations of the mishandling of rape cases in the Office of Chief Medical Examiner (OCME), the City Council announced it will convene an emergency oversight hearing in the coming weeks.

Reports indicate that more than 800 rape cases may have been wrongly handled, resulting in the submission of erroneous reports that damaged the criminal justice process.

The Council’s Hearing will be held by the Committee on Health, chaired by Council Member Maria del Carmen Arroyo. The hearing will take place on Tuesday, Jan. 22 at 2 p.m.

“The mishandling of rape cases is making double victims of women who have already suffered an indescribably horrific event,” said City Council Speaker Christine Quinn. “We cannot allow these women to wonder if their attacker remains free or to go one more day without knowing justice was served in their case. We must to everything in our power to resolve this matter. At our hearings, the Council will conduct comprehensive oversight-no question will remain unanswered and every victim will know her case has not been ignored.”

“The public must have confidence in the accuracy of test results produced by the Medical Examiner’s office. Our emergency oversight hearing will provide a critical review of what happened here and an opportunity to address victims’ concerns,” added del Carmen Arroyo.

“The public trusts the Medical Examiner’s Office to produce accurate results and it is shameful that over 800 rape cases could potentially have been mishandled,” said City Council Member Julissa Ferreras, Chair of the Women’s Committee. “Our emergency oversight hearing will get to the bottom of this and will prevent it from happening again.”

City Council Member Peter F. Vallone Jr., chairman of the Public Safety Committee and a former prosecutor stated, “Without the crucial evidence provided by this lab, sexual predators will be free to attack again. This is a very serious matter.”

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