Feds: Catching pain patients with PDMPs more important than catching rapists


Further review: Inside police failure to stop Darren Sharper’s rape spree

News of the Sept. 23, 2013 incident quickly shot up the ranks. New Orleans’ police superintendent and top prosecutor were briefed. In the weeks that followed, police records show that Williams gathered evidence. He got a warrant to collect a sample of Sharper’s DNA. It matched a swab taken from the woman’s body. Witnesses told of seeing Sharper with the intoxicated woman at a club, and later at his condo. Video footage confirmed Sharper and the woman had been together.

It wasn’t enough for the district attorney’s office. This was a “heater”— police shorthand for a high profile case. Prosecutors were hesitant to move too quickly on a local football hero with deep pockets and savvy lawyers, according to two individuals with knowledge of the investigation. They held off on an arrest warrant…

Sharper did not—and continued an unchecked crime spree that ended only with his arrest in Los Angeles last year after sexually assaulting four women in 24 hours. In March, Sharper owned up to his savagery. He agreed to plead guilty or no contest to raping or attempting to rape nine women in four states. The pending deal allows his possible release after serving half of a 20-year sentence—a strikingly light punishment that has drawn widespread criticism…

The ProPublica and Advocate investigation thus reveals wider problems in the prosecution of sexual assaults in America. More than 20 years after Congress and state legislatures reformed laws to put more rapists in prison, police and prosecutors do not take full advantage of the tools at their disposal.

One key part of the change was to make it easier to use a suspect’s history of sexual assaults at trial. But prosecutors and police often do not seek out other possible victims. One recent assessment called the reform effort “a failure.”

The FBI also created a database to contain detailed case descriptions to help police capture serial rapists who operate across state lines. But it is seldom used. Of 79,770 rapes reported to police in 2013, only 240 cases were entered into the database—0.3 percent.

Today, studies show that only about one in three victims report sexual assaults in the first place. Of those reports, Department of Justice statistics show, less than 40 percent result in an arrest, a far lower figure than for other major crimes such as murder or aggravated assault…

It’s not mandatory for police to use this database of serial rapists, but it will soon be mandatory for doctors to use PDMPs for pain patients, or anyone who is prescribed certain prescription medications.

5 thoughts on “Feds: Catching pain patients with PDMPs more important than catching rapists

    • And I just got back from my tri-monthly slog to the store to get Claritin-D — I tried to get a 15-day supply, but was over the “gram limit,” so I had to settle for another 10-day supply… Grrrrrrrrrrr.


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