By Sasha Gonzales
WILLIAMSBRIDGE–Reports of rape in the Bronx have surged during the first weeks of 2019, even as overall violent crime totals in the borough fall, NYPD data shows.
There were 70 documented reports of rape in the Bronx as of Feb. 24–the last date for which official statistics are available–representing a 71 percent increase from the 41 rapes reported during the same period last year, according to NYPD Compstat data.
Murders are down from last year, from 14 to 10, felony assaults down from 773 to 739, burglaries down from 308 to 264, grand larcenies down from 903 to 834, and robberies up slightly from 471 to 482.
The Bronx numbers reflect a citywide trend of more reports of sexual assault. The number of rapes recorded by police in all five boroughs was 267 as of Feb. 24 – a 24 percent increase from the 216 rapes reported during the same period last year, the NYPD data shows.
Speaking at a Compstat meeting last month, Mayor Bill de Blasio and NYPD officials attributed the increase in rape reports, in part, to the #MeToo movement.
“The advocates and the NYPD believe the same thing based on the information they have,” de Blasio said. “That a historic underreporting is finally being addressed. I think the #MeToo movement is a part of it. And a number of other things are.”
NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill told reporters that same day: “We meet with sexual assault advocates every three months. Their contention, as well as our belief, is that rape is an underreported crime. … We’ve had our public awareness program for people to come forward with sexual assault complaints, and I think that’s a big part of why that number continues to rise.”
The most recent high-profile rape in the Bronx happened shortly before 1 a.m. Monday at the El Rancho Motel, located at 3701 White Plains Road in Williamsbridge, police said.
The NYPD released footage of a man they same came to the motel with a drunk or drugged woman, 34, and raped her in a room. Before the rapist fled, he stole the victim’s cell phone from her purse, police said.
She awoke at the motel hours later and called a friend, who drove her to Mount Sinai Hospital.
Police on Tuesday said they arrested and charged the alleged attacker, Yabi Jaw, 25, of the Bronx, with rape and grand larceny.