NEW YORK – New York City police official apologized Friday to a rape of the victim, he helped discredit almost 24 years ago.
Deputy Commissioner John Miller said in a statement sent to the wife of the lawyer that he was wrong to tell reporters that the police doubted the woman’s account of being raped in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park.
The police said this week that they had finally solved the crime by matching the DNA found on the victim to a serial rapist who is in prison for other attacks.
Miller, when the chief police spokesman, told reporters in 1994 that detectives believed there were inconsistencies in her story.
Miller said in his apology that “Incorrect sharing of this information, that the speculation of the researchers, and ultimately proved to be incorrect, was a severe misjudgment on my part.” He added, “This is again the victim of a person who was the victim of a terrible crime. I offer my sincere apologies to her for.”
The woman and her lawyer, Martin Garbus, said Miller’s apology was not enough.
“Miller and the police are not accounting error,” Garbus said in an e-mail to The Associated Press. “The police because of racism and sexism abused Jane Doe and take a fair wife, who is a liar and a hoaxer.”
The woman, now 51 years old, is African-American. The Associated Press does not generally identify victims of sexual abuse.
Miller, now the deputy commissioner for counterterrorism and intelligence, was a source for Daily News columnist Mike McAlary wrote that the police believed that the attack was a “hoax.”
McAlary wrote in the time that the police sources had told him that the woman invented her story because she wanted to strengthen a speech they give during a meeting about violence against lesbian women.
“The woman, who is likely to end up being arrested himself, the inventor of the crime, she said, to promote her rally,” McAlary wrote in a column called “Rape hoax the real crime.”
The woman sued McAlary for libel, but a judge dismissed the case in part because McAlary had been relying on information from the police. McAlary died in 1998.
The woman was raped in Prospect Park on the way home with the groceries on April 26, 1994. The police released a sketch based on her description of the attacker, but no arrests have been made.
The Police announced Tuesday that modern DNA analysis methods had led to a match with serial rapist Edward Webb, who is serving 75 years to life in prison.
Webb was charged with 10 other rapes over a period of several decades. He told the police that he denied raping the woman in 1994 to the case.
The woman said in a statement released by her Garbus, that she was grateful that Webb was finally brought to justice.
She said that the name of a liar by police sources “had a silencing effect on me, to say the least. I paid a terrible, terrible price for my #MeToo.”
She added that “stories of violence are still discount; cases are not vigorously prosecuted. Schools and in the workplace dealing with sexual violence as well as internal disciplinary matters instead of what they are — crimes.”
In the statement, which came hours before Miller’s apology, she called for apologies from him and the NYPD and the Daily News.
The statements by Miller and the woman were first reported in the New York Post.