Select Page

The NYPD Underreported Rape Due to an Outdated Definition of the Crime

Rape cases have gone underreported in New York City because of a glaring omission by the New York City Police Department (NYPD).

Newsy, the Center for Investigative Reporting, and ProPublica have been investigating law enforcement departments all across the country to find flaws in crime reporting. Their project has already found several cities where rape cases are prematurely closed, allowing them to enjoy artificially high clearance rates. Among them: Wichita, Oakland, Baltimore, and Austin.

The most recent findings focus on an overly narrow definition of rape, which has led to a 38 percent discrepancy between the NYPD’s rape reports and those of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

In 2012, the Department of Justice expanded the definition of forcible rape to cover any “penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.” The previous definition, which had been in place since 1927, only considered penile penetration of the vagina. The new definition is more favorable to victims of all genders and assault situations.

Several months later, the NYPD’s leadership sent out a memo announcing that the department would update its definition in compliance with the new federal understanding. But in the seven years that have passed since then, the NYPD’s crime-tracking system, CompStat, has failed to update its definition.

As a result, acts that are now recognized as rape are merely classified—and investigated—as “criminal sexual activity.” The NYPD ended up underreporting the crime by 38 percent.

During an appearance this morning on WNYC, Mayor Bill de Blasio said that the NYPD would update its CompStat website to reflect the federal definition “later this year.”

This post has been republished with permission from a publicly-available RSS feed found on Reason. The views expressed by the original author(s) do not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of The Libertarian Hub, its owners or administrators. Any images included in the original article belong to and are the sole responsibility of the original author/website. The Libertarian Hub makes no claims of ownership of any imported photos/images and shall not be held liable for any unintended copyright infringement. Submit a DCMA takedown request.

Read the original article.

About The Author

Zuri Davis

Founded in 1968, Reason is the magazine of free minds and free markets. We produce hard-hitting independent journalism on civil liberties, politics, technology, culture, policy, and commerce. Reason exists outside of the left/right echo chamber. Our goal is to deliver fresh, unbiased information and insights to our readers, viewers, and listeners every day. Visit

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Bringing together a variety of news and information from some of today’s most important libertarian thought leaders. All feeds are checked and refreshed every hour and pages auto-refresh every 15 minutes. External images are deleted after 30 days.

Time since last refresh: 0 second

Publish Your Own Article

Follow The Libertarian Hub


Support Our Work

Support the Libertarian Hub by tipping with Bitcoin!

Weekly Newsletter

Newsletter Signup

Subscribe to our newsletter to receive a weekly email report of the top five most popular articles on the Libertarian Hub!

Weekly Newsletter SignupTop 5 Stories of the Week

Subscribe to our newsletter to receive a weekly email report of the top five most popular articles on the Libertarian Hub!