Maryland police routinely dismissed sexual-assault reports because the victim 'didn't fight back hard enough'

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...


The Baltimore Police Department recently came under fire for its abhorrent treatment of sexual-assault victims, with a Department of Justice investigation revealing officers would regularly ask victims such questions as "Why are you messing that guy's life up?"

Thanks to the findings, Baltimore PD changed its policies and hired a new commander to supervise how rape is investigated. But next door in Baltimore County, which is just north of the city of Baltimore, police regularly dismissed reports of rape because the victim "didn't fight back hard enough," according to a BuzzFeed News report.

Of the 146 rape reports recorded by the Baltimore County Police Department, BuzzFeed was able to obtain records for 42. Of those, 13 were dismissed by police for a legitimate reason: The alleged victims admitted to lying, or there was strong evidence that proved their story false. But in at least 15 of the 28 remaining cases, police declined to investigate because they didn't believe the victims actually tried to prevent their assaults:

Elise Armacost, a spokesperson for the department, defended its decision to dismiss such cases. "Saying no is not enough to support a rape charge," she said. Maryland's law requires "force or the threat of force." Of the case in which the assailant put his hands around his victim's neck, Armacost said, "She did not physically resist. Absent such resistance, a case does not warrant additional investigation under Maryland law."

But a criminal-law professor told BuzzFeed police are misinterpreting the law: If a woman, "honestly and reasonably believes that if she resists, she will be subjected to harm, there is no requirement to resist."

More on the Baltimore Police Department and the Freddie Gray case

67 PHOTOS
Freddie Gray, Baltimore Police, Riots
See Gallery
Freddie Gray, Baltimore Police, Riots
BALTIMORE, USA - APRIL 27: Police take security measures during a riot over the death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore, Maryland, USA, on April 27, 2015. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - APRIL 27: Baltimore Police officers push back a protestor on Reisterstown Road near Mowdamin Mall, April 27, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. The funeral service for Freddie Gray, who died last week while in Baltimore Police custody, was held on Monday morning. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Baltimore police officers carry an injured comrade from the streets near Mondawmin Mall April 27, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. Violent street clashes erupted in Baltimore on Monday after friends and family gathered for the funeral of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man whose death in custody triggered a fresh wave of protests over US police tactics. Police said at least seven officers were injured -- one of them was unresponsive -- as youths hurled bricks and bottles and destroyed at least one police vehicle in the vicinity of the shopping mall not far from the church where the funeral took place. AFP PHOTO/BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - APRIL 27: A Baltimore Police officer gestures toward protestors near Mondawmin Mall, April 27, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. A group of young protestors clashed with police in the streets near Mondawmin Mall in the afternoon following Freddie Gray's funeral. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - APRIL 27: A police vehicle chases protestors away in a parking lot along Reisterstown Road near Mondawmin Mall, April 27, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. A group of young protestors clashed with police in the streets near Mondawmin Mall in the afternoon following Freddie Gray's funeral. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
A boy throws a brick at a police van, Monday, April 27, 2015, during a skirmish between demonstrators and police after the funeral of Freddie Gray in Baltimore. Gray died from spinal injuries about a week after he was arrested and transported in a Baltimore Police Department van. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
A demonstrator walks past police with a brick as they respond to thrown objects, Monday, April 27, 2015, after the funeral of Freddie Gray in Baltimore. Gray died from spinal injuries about a week after he was arrested and transported in a Baltimore Police Department van. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
BALTIMORE, MD - APRIL 27: Baltimore Police officers in riot gear look toward protestors along Reisterstown Road near Mondawmin Mall, April 27, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. A group of young protestors clashed with police in the streets near Mondawmin Mall in the afternoon following Freddie Gray's funeral. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Police move down a street in response to demonstrators who were throwing objects, Monday, April 27, 2015, after the funeral of Freddie Gray in Baltimore. Gray died from spinal injuries about a week after he was arrested and transported in a Baltimore Police Department van. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Baltimore police officers push back demonstrators who are throwing rocks at the police, after the funeral of Freddie Gray, on Monday, April 27, 2015, at New Shiloh Baptist Church in Baltimore. Gray died from spinal injuries about a week after he was arrested and transported in a Baltimore Police Department van. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
Baltimore police officers detain a demonstrator after clashes with police, after the funeral of Freddie Gray, on Monday, April 27, 2015, at New Shiloh Baptist Church in Baltimore. Gray died from spinal injuries about a week after he was arrested and transported in a Baltimore Police Department van. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
Police put out a fire caused by a teargas canister April 27, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. Violent street clashes erupted in Baltimore on Monday after friends and family gathered for the funeral of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man whose death in custody triggered a fresh wave of protests over US police tactics. Police said at least seven officers were injured -- one of them was unresponsive -- as youths hurled bricks and bottles and destroyed at least one police vehicle in the vicinity of a shopping mall not far from the church where the funeral took place. AFP PHOTO/BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - APRIL 27: Protestors surround a Baltimore Police officer near Mowdamin Mall, April 27, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. The funeral service for Freddie Gray, who died last week while in Baltimore Police custody, was held on Monday morning. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - APRIL 27: Baltimore Police officers arrest a man near Mowdamin Mall, April 27, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. The funeral service for Freddie Gray, who died last week while in Baltimore Police custody, was held on Monday morning. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Baltimore police officers clash with protesters in the streets near Mondawmin Mall April 27, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. Violent street clashes erupted in Baltimore on Monday after friends and family gathered for the funeral of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man whose death in custody triggered a fresh wave of protests over US police tactics. Police said at least seven officers were injured -- one of them was unresponsive -- as youths hurled bricks and bottles and destroyed at least one police vehicle in the vicinity of the shopping mall not far from the church where the funeral took place. AFP PHOTO/BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, USA - APRIL 27: Protesters clash with police during a riot over the death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore, Maryland, USA, on April 27, 2015. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Demonstrators destroy the windshield of a Baltimore Police car as they protest the death Freddie Gray, an African American man who died of spinal cord injuries in police custody, in Baltimore, Maryland, April 25, 2015. Protesters returned to Baltimore's streets Saturday to vent outrage over the death of Gray on April 12. AFP PHOTO/JIM WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
Demonstrators destroy a Baltimore Police car as they protest the death Freddie Gray, an African American man who died of spinal cord injuries in police custody, in Baltimore, Maryland, April 25, 2015. Protesters returned to Baltimore's streets Saturday to vent outrage over the death of Gray on April 12. AFP PHOTO/JIM WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
A man is kicked as he attempts to get up after being knocked down, following a march to City Hall for Freddie Gray, Saturday, April 25, 2015 in Baltimore. Gray died from spinal injuries about a week after he was arrested and transported in a police van. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
A protestor, left, fights with a bar patron outside of a bar near Oriole Park at Camden Yards after a rally for Freddie Gray, Saturday, April 25, 2015, in Baltimore. Gray died from spinal injuries about a week after he was arrested and transported in a police van. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
A protestor, right, pulls a bag away from a group of women after a rally for Freddie Gray, Saturday, April 25, 2015, in Baltimore. Gray died from spinal injuries about a week after he was arrested and transported in a police van. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
A woman stands by her car with the back window broken out after a march to City Hall for Freddie Gray, Saturday, April 25, 2015 in Baltimore. Gray died from spinal injuries about a week after he was arrested and transported in a police van. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
BALTIMORE, MD - APRIL 25: Hundreds of protestors gather outside city hall in honor of Freddie Gray on April 25, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. Gray, 25, was arrested for possessing a switch blade knife outside the Gilmor Homes housing project on Baltimore's west side on April 12 . According to his attorney, Gray died a week later in the hospital from a severe spinal cord injury he received while in police custody. (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - APRIL 25: Hundreds of protestors gather outside city hall in honor of Freddie Gray on April 25, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. Gray, 25, was arrested for possessing a switch blade knife outside the Gilmor Homes housing project on Baltimore's west side on April 12 . According to his attorney, Gray died a week later in the hospital from a severe spinal cord injury he received while in police custody. (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)
Protesters march during a rally in Baltimore, Maryland, on April 25, 2015, against the death of Freddie Gray while in police custody. Organizers anticipated the biggest outpouring of public anger since Gray, 25, was arrested on April 12, only to die in a coma seven days later from severe spinal injuries. AFP PHOTO / ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS (Photo credit should read Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - APRIL 25: Hundreds of protestors gather in honor of Freddie Gray April 25, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. Gray, 25, was arrested for possessing a switch blade knife outside the Gilmor Homes housing project on Baltimore's west side on April 12 . According to his attorney, Gray died a week later in the hospital from a severe spinal cord injury he received while in police custody. (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)
A protester gestures at police during a rally in Baltimore, Maryland, on April 25, 2015, against the death of Freddie Gray while in police custody. Organizers anticipated the biggest outpouring of public anger since Gray, 25, was arrested on April 12, only to die in a coma seven days later from severe spinal injuries. AFP PHOTO / ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS (Photo credit should read Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images)
Demonstrators put their fists in the air as a sign of 'black power' during a protest against police brutality and the death of Freddie Gray outside the Baltimore Police Western District station in the Sandtown neighborhood April 22, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. Gray, 25, was arrested for possessing a switch blade knife April 12 outside the Gilmor Homes housing project on Baltimore's west side. According to his attorney, Gray died a week later in the hospital from a severe spinal cord injury he received while in police custody. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - APRIL 23: The bulletin board in front of the Sharon Baptist Church asks that people pray for the family of Freddie Gray April 23, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. Gray, 25, was arrested for possessing a switch blade knife April 12 outside the Gilmor Homes housing project on Baltimore's west side. According to his attorney, Gray died a week later in the hospital from a severe spinal cord injury he received while in police custody. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, USA - APRIL 23: Hundreds of people gather outside the Western District Police Station during a march through the streets of Baltimore to seek justice for the death for Freddie Gray who died from injuries suffered in Police custody in Baltimore, USA on April 23, 2015. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, USA - APRIL 23: Protestors and police clash as hundreds of people march through the streets of Baltimore to seek justice for the death for Freddie Gray who died from injuries suffered in Police custody in Baltimore, USA on April 23, 2015. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Marchers chant near the Baltimore police department's Western District police station during a march for Freddie Gray, Wednesday, April 22, 2015, in Baltimore. Gray died from spinal injuries about a week after he was arrested and transported in a police van. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
WASHINGTON, USA - APRIL 23: Young men sit in the middle of a street blocking traffic as hundreds of people march through the streets of Baltimore to seek justice for the death for Freddie Gray who died from injuries suffered in Police custody in Baltimore, USA on April 23, 2015. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Demonstrators and police officers wrestle over a metal barricade as containers of liquid are thrown during a protest against police brutality and the death of Freddie Gray outside the Baltimore Police Western District station in the Sandtown neighborhood April 22, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. Gray, 25, was arrested for possessing a switch blade knife April 12 outside the Gilmor Homes housing project on Baltimore's west side. According to his attorney, Gray died a week later in the hospital from a severe spinal cord injury he received while in police custody. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
The Rev. Westley West leads a march for Freddie Gray to the Baltimore Police Department's Western District police station, Wednesday, April 22, 2015, in Baltimore. Gray died from spinal injuries about a week after he was arrested and transported in a police van. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
A member of the Baltimore Police Department stands guard outside of the department's Western District police station as men hold their hands up in protest during a march for Freddie Gray, Wednesday, April 22, 2015, in Baltimore. Gray died from spinal injuries about a week after he was arrested and transported in a police van. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
A woman holds a sign during a protest for Freddie Gray outside the Baltimore Police Department's Western District police station, Wednesday, April 22, 2015, in Baltimore. Gray died from spinal injuries a week after he was arrested and transported in a police van. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Marchers raise their fists in the air near the Baltimore Police Department's Western District police station during a march for Freddie Gray, Wednesday, April 22, 2015, in Baltimore. Gray died from spinal injuries about a week after he was arrested and transported in a police van. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
A man shouts insults at Baltimore Police officers guarding the Western District station during a protest against police brutality and the death of Freddie Gray in the Sandtown neighborhood April 22, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. Gray, 25, was arrested for possessing a switch blade knife April 12 outside the Gilmor Homes housing project on Baltimore's west side. According to his attorney, Gray died a week later in the hospital from a severe spinal cord injury he received while in police custody. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Baltimore Police officers keep demonstrators back while standing guard outside the Western District station during a protest against police brutality and the death of Freddie Gray in the Sandtown neighborhood April 22, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. Gray, 25, was arrested for possessing a switch blade knife April 12 outside the Gilmor Homes housing project on Baltimore's west side. According to his attorney, Gray died a week later in the hospital from a severe spinal cord injury he received while in police custody. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Marchers raise their fists in front of Baltimore police guarding the department's Western District police station during a march for Freddie Gray, Wednesday, April 22, 2015, in Baltimore. Gray died from spinal injuries about a week after he was arrested and transported in a police van. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
A demonstrator is arrested after climbing over a metal barricade during a protest against police brutality and the death of Freddie Gray outside the Baltimore Police Western District station in the Sandtown neighborhood April 22, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. Gray, 25, was arrested for possessing a switch blade knife April 12 outside the Gilmor Homes housing project on Baltimore's west side. According to his attorney, Gray died a week later in the hospital from a severe spinal cord injury he received while in police custody. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
A Baltimore Police officer secures metal barricades in front of City Hall in anticipation of protests against police brutality and the death of Freddie Gray April 22, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. Gray, 25, was arrested by Baltimore Police for possessing a switch blade knife April 12 outside the Gilmor Homes housing project on Baltimore's west side. According to his attorney, Gray died a week later in the hospital from a severe spinal cord injury he received while in police custody. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Christian Johnson Sr. (L) holds his daughter Chrisette Johnson, 6, on his shoulders and puts his fist in the air as a sign of 'black power' during a protest against police brutality and the death of Freddie Gray outside the Baltimore Police Western District station April 22, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. Gray, 25, was arrested for possessing a switch blade knife April 12 outside the Gilmor Homes housing project on Baltimore's west side. According to his attorney, Gray died a week later in the hospital from a severe spinal cord injury he received while in police custody. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Hundreds of demonstrators gather outside the Baltimore Police Western District station during a protest against police brutality and the death of Freddie Gray in the Sandtown neighborhood April 22, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. Gray, 25, was arrested for possessing a switch blade knife April 12 outside the Gilmor Homes housing project on Baltimore's west side. According to his attorney, Gray died a week later in the hospital from a severe spinal cord injury he received while in police custody. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
A demonstrator is arrested after climbing over a metal barricade during a protest against police brutality and the death of Freddie Gray outside the Baltimore Police Western District station in the Sandtown neighborhood April 22, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. Gray, 25, was arrested for possessing a switch blade knife April 12 outside the Gilmor Homes housing project on Baltimore's west side. According to his attorney, Gray died a week later in the hospital from a severe spinal cord injury he received while in police custody. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Demonstrators shout insults at members of the Baltimore Police as they stand guard outside the Western District station during a protest against police brutality and the death of Freddie Gray in the Sandtown neighborhood April 22, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. Gray, 25, was arrested for possessing a switch blade knife April 12 outside the Gilmor Homes housing project on Baltimore's west side. According to his attorney, Gray died a week later in the hospital from a severe spinal cord injury he received while in police custody. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Demonstrators shout insults at members of the Baltimore Police as they stand guard outside the Western District station during a protest against police brutality and the death of Freddie Gray in the Sandtown neighborhood April 22, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. Gray, 25, was arrested for possessing a switch blade knife April 12 outside the Gilmor Homes housing project on Baltimore's west side. According to his attorney, Gray died a week later in the hospital from a severe spinal cord injury he received while in police custody. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - APRIL 22: Baltimore Police mounted officers stand at the ready during a protest against police brutality and the death of Freddie Gray outside the Baltimore Police Western District station in the Sandtown neighborhood April 22, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. Gray, 25, was arrested for possessing a switch blade knife April 12 outside the Gilmor Homes housing project on Baltimore's west side. According to his attorney, Gray died a week later in the hospital from a severe spinal cord injury he received while in police custody. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Protestors participate in a vigil for Freddie Gray down the street from the Baltimore Police Department's Western District police station, April 21, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. Gray, 25, died from spinal injuries on April 19, one week after being taken into police custody. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Tully White IV holds his son Tully White V, 2 years old, during a vigil for Freddie Gray down the street from the Baltimore Police Department's Western District police station, April 21, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. Gray, 25, died from spinal injuries on April 19, one week after being taken into police custody. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Protestors participate in a vigil for Freddie Gray down the street from the Baltimore Police Department's Western District police station, April 21, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. Gray, 25, died from spinal injuries on April 19, one week after being taken into police custody. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Neighborhood children light candles at a memorial after a march and vigil for Freddie Gray, April 21, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. Gray, 25, died from spinal injuries on April 19, one week after being taken into police custody. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Supporters and family members of Freddie Gray lead a march to the Baltimore Police Department's Western District police station during a vigil for Freddie Gray, Tuesday, April 21, 2015, in Baltimore. Gray died from spinal injuries a week after he was arrested and transported in a police van. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Members of the Baltimore Police Department stand behind barriers outside of the Western District police station during a march for Freddie Gray, Tuesday, April 21, 2015, in Baltimore. Gray died from spinal injuries about a week after he was arrested and transported in a police van. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Protesters march on Laurens Street during a demonstration over the death of Freddie Gray, April 21, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. Gray, 25, died from spinal injuries on April 19, one week after being taken into police custody. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Baltimore resident Priscilla Jackson signs a memorial following a demonstration over the death of Freddie Gray, April 21, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. Gray, 25, died from spinal injuries on April 19, one week after being taken into police custody. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Protesters sit outside the Baltimore Police Department's Western District police station at the end of a march for Freddie Gray, Tuesday, April 21, 2015, in Baltimore. Gray died from spinal injuries a week after he was arrested and transported in a police van. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Gloria Darden, at center in hood, mother of Freddie Gray, leads a march with supporters to the site of Gray's arrest, Tuesday, April 21, 2015, in Baltimore. Gray died from spinal injuries a week after he was arrested and transported in a police van. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
A woman reaches for a lighter as she and other protestors light candles spelling out the name of Freddie Gray during a vigil at the intersection of Gray's arrest, Tuesday, April 21, 2015, in Baltimore. Gray died from spinal injuries a week after he was arrested and transported in a police van. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Supporters and family members of Freddie Gray lead a march to the Baltimore Police Department's Western District police station during a vigil for Freddie Gray, Tuesday, April 21, 2015, in Baltimore. Gray died from spinal injuries a week after he was arrested and transported in a police van. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Thousands march through the streets of Baltimore to seek justice for the death for Freddie Gray who died from injuries suffered in Police custody in Baltimore, USA on April 18, 2015. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Protestors stand outside of the Baltimore Police Department's Western District police station during a march and vigil for Freddie Gray, Tuesday, April 21, 2015, in Baltimore. Gray died from spinal injuries a week after he was arrested and transported in a police van. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Rev. Jamal Bryant leads a rally outside of the Baltimore Police Department's Western District police station during a march and vigil for Freddie Gray, Tuesday, April 21, 2015, in Baltimore. Gray died from spinal injuries a week after he was arrested and transported in a police van. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
A protestor raises his fist outside of the Baltimore Police Department's Western District police station during a march and vigil for Freddie Gray, Tuesday, April 21, 2015, in Baltimore. Gray died from spinal injuries a week after he was arrested and transported in a police van. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
WASHINGTON, USA - APRIL 18: Thousands march through the streets of Baltimore to seek justice for the death for Freddie Gray who died from injuries suffered in Police custody in Baltimore, USA on April 18, 2015. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION +
HIDE CAPTION

Read Full Story

People are Reading