A former head of Boston's police union facing a total of 33 charges in connection with the rape and abuse of six children over various periods of time beginning in the 1990s pleaded guilty Monday.
Patrick Rose had previously pleaded not guilty and maintained his innocence, but changed his plea during an appearance in Suffolk Superior Court. He pleaded guilty to 21 counts of child rape and sexual assault over a 27-year period and was sentenced to 10 to 13 years in prison, plus 10 years probation following his release.
Several of Rose's victims delivered victim impact statements.
One of the victims talked about the “dead-soul feeling of emotional pain” the victim experienced because of the abuse.
“I saw you for what you really are — a coward, a predator of the weak and the defenseless,” the victim said.
Another victim said of Rose: “Your reputation? Absolutely gone. All you will ever be remembered as is another creep who has nothing going for him. Your job as a cop protecting people? Well that’s really quite ironic, isn’t it?”
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Rose, 67, a former Boston police officer and president of the Boston Police Patrolmen's Association, was arrested on child sex charges in August of 2020 stemming from allegations that he sexually assaulted a young relative starting when she was 7.
The victim, now a teenager, told police the assaults continued for five years, until she turned 12. Rose allegedly touched her inappropriately and asked her to perform sexual acts on him in his West Roxbury home.
Rose was later charged with the rape and abuse of five other children. Prosecutors said most of the charges date back to the 1990s, but at least one was within the last two years.
“He had these children’s trust from the beginning. He didn't need to gain it. By virtue of his position, he had their trust," Assistant Suffolk District Attorney Audrey Mark said in court Monday. "And he violated their trust over and over. He violated their bodies. And these children, and these adult survivors, will live with that trauma for the rest of their lives."
Suffolk District Attorney Kevin Hayden said following the plea that he hopes the resolution of the case provides some level of healing for the victims.
"Anyone who was in that courtroom today knows the tremendous courage, fortitude and bravery that they withstood throughout this entire horrible incident," he said. "These are monstrous, monstrous acts."
Boston Police Patrolmen's Association President Larry Calderone also issued a statement following Rose's guilty plea.
“While there is no punishment or condemnation too severe for a man guilty of the atrocious crimes committed by Pat Rose, we hope today’s decision will bring with it some small level of comfort, closure and vindication for the victims and their families," Calderone said.
Rose was allowed to remain on the force for years despite sufficient evidence found by internal investigators supporting allegations that he sexually assaulted a minor, according to documents released by the city last year.
The internal affairs file was ordered released by acting Mayor Kim Janey after The Boston Globe reported that Rose had been able to keep his badge despite a criminal complaint in 1995 for sexual assault on a 12-year-old child.
The criminal complaint was eventually dropped, but the department's Internal Affairs Division concluded there was enough evidence to support the allegations, according to the documents. Then-Boston Police Commissioner Paul F. Evans was notified in a June 1996 memo of the results of the probe.
Rose had been relieved of his weapon and placed on administrative duty, but was returned to full duty after an attorney for the Boston Police Patrolmen's Association wrote to the commissioner in October 1997 and threatened to file a grievance, according to the documents.
A city review of the Rose investigation led to a series of recommendations for keeping the department transparent. Among the changes recommended by the Office of Police Accountability and Transparancy were starting investigations into officers charged with crimes within 48 hours and creating clear guidance for how officers should be punished.