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County Executive forms Sexual Assault Investigations Task Force

Baltimore County Sexual Assault investigation task force
Posted at 11:12 PM, Feb 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-26 08:21:52-05

New Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski said he was disappointed when he heard about the excessive use of confidential release authorizations for rape victims.

Now he's telling the police force they won't be used anymore.

“There are lawsuits in the issue quite frankly have sort of affirmed that we need to be taking a comprehensive look,” Olszewski said. “Bringing to ear some of the experts on the issue and some of the best minds together to make sure we are being responsive.”

On Monday, Olszewski was flanked by the members of the new sexual assault investigations task force. Starting next week, the group will meet over the next six months.

Sheryl Goldstien is the chair of the task force that is made up of seven people.

“This task force is going to work to bring a victim centered trauma informed approach that will encourage all individuals to report sexual assaults here in Baltimore County.”

The group is tasked with examining current investigation practices, policies, and training related to sexual assault complaints.

“I’d like to see a rise in reporting,” said Lt. Brian Edwards a Special Victims Unit Commander with the Baltimore County Police Department. “We know we only scratch the surface with the amount of victims that come forward. I’d like them to trust us with their case.”

The task force will also review past case files.

“They will be assessing resources available for investigating sexual assault complaints and testing old and new rape kits making adjustments as necessary,” Olszewski said.

They were also using the time to promote the Baltimore rape crisis center, TurnAround, and their helpline that can be reached at 443-279-0379.