From the Village Voice:
Now, the Voice has learned that the NYPD downgraded a felony sexual assault in a park in upper Manhattan earlier this year to a misdemeanor.
The incident was only reclassified and upgraded to a felony after the victim, journalist Debbie Nathan, protested and the Manhattan District Attorney took the extraordinary step of interviewing the police officers involved and confirming her account. The commander of the 34th Precinct, Deputy Inspector Andrew Capul, was forced to apologize publicly to Nathan in a community hearing. Capul was recently transferred from the precinct.
The Voice contacted the NYPD for comment, but received no response.
Harriet Lessel, the director of the New York City Alliance Against Sexual Assault, an association of a wide variety of groups involved in sexual assault treatment and prevention, says that NYPD downgrading of sexual assaults from felonies to misdemeanors has become a growing problem over the past 18 months.