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NYPD sees spike in rape cases as some assaults fall through the cracks

The NYPD is seeking a spike in rape cases this year. The department has continued to investigate and assist victims, even as some cases of sexual assault fall through the cracks of justice.

In February 2018 the NYPD investigated 122 rapes reported, a 39 percent increase from February 2017.

In one recent case,  Sammy Bensabeur was released from Rikers after striking a deal with the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office for a 2016 attack. He was not required to register as a sex offender as part of the deal.

In a statement, a spokesperson for the Brooklyn DA said, in part, “When sexual assault cases come in they are assigned to specialized prosecutors in our Special Victims Bureau and are handled in a manner consistent with best practices.”

After Bensabeur's release, he allegedly followed a 59-year-old woman home, forced his way into her Bensonhurst apartment and molested her on Feb. 17, police say.

The same suspect, police say, was arrested in a strikingly similar crime in October 2016. He allegedly stalked a woman down a Flatbush street and sexually assaulted her. Police arrested him, but that’s when he was offered a plea deal and was released after serving nine months.

It’s cases like Bensabeur’s that puzzle the NYPD.

Special Victim’s Unit Deputy Chief Michael Osgood weighed in.

"Rape is the worse crime for victims, even more so than homicides.”

That statement resonates with victims including a woman gang raped in Brooklyn 10 years ago.

Bensabeur was arrested in March for the attack on the 59-year-old woman and is now awaiting trial.

Information for victims of sexual assault can be found here: