Two victims sexually abused by former Boston police officer Patrick Rose are suing more than a dozen officials and institutions they say failed to fully investigate and stop Rose almost three decades ago, including the former Boston Police Department commissioner, the patrolmen’s union and the Department of Children and Families.
Lawyers representing the two now-adult victims say they want to hold to account those who allowed Rose to stay on the job and rise to become president of the Boston Police Patrolmen’s Association, all while continuing to abuse victims and other children.
“They need justice,” said Janine Kutylo, one of the attorneys. “The people who covered it up, the people that didn't protect them, the people whose duty it was to protect them, didn't help them. Those people should be held accountable.”
The suit was filed in federal court on Thursday.
The suit lays out a slew of alleged failures in the Rose case, many of them already uncovered in the time since he was criminally charged in 2020 with child sexual abuse. He is serving a 10-year minimum prison sentence after pleading guilty to abusing six children.
Rose was a rookie officer in 1995 when he was first charged with abusing a 12-year-old boy. The charges were later dropped after the victim recanted in an affidavit supplied by Rose’s attorney. But the Department of Children and Families and the police department’s own internal affairs division later found that Rose likely did commit the crime.
Yet even after those findings, little happened. Rose spent more than two years on leave or desk duty, and was returned to full duty with the help of the patrolmen’s union, which fought to get his job back.
An investigation by the city of Boston in 2022 found that Rose should have been fired. After releasing a trove of documents related to the case, Mayor Michelle Wu said it’s unclear why Rose wasn’t terminated and who allowed him to stay on the force. The files show that top officials, including then Police Commissioner Paul Evans, knew about the abuse.
Reached Thursday, Evans declined to comment, saying he hadn't received the suit yet. A Boston city spokesperson also declined comment. Other defendants named in the suit, including the Boston Police Patrolmen's Association and former union president Thomas Nee did not immediately return messages seeking comment. The Department of Children and Families declined to speak with WBUR.
The victims want people and institutions to take responsibility for failing to stop Rose.
This case is important, attorney Patrick Driscoll said, “because even though that 12-year-old boy made that cry for help, all of the people that were responsible for protecting him failed him.”