BOSTON (WHDH) - The former head of Boston’s largest police union pleaded guilty Monday to nearly two dozen child rape charges and was sentenced to spend at least ten years behind bars.

Patrick Rose, 67, faced a total of 21 charges in connection with the rape and abuse of six minors over various periods of time beginning in the 1990s, according to the Suffolk District Attorney’s Office.

“I want to apologize for my despicable behavior,” he said in court. “I apologize to my former colleagues. I apologize to my former friends. But most importantly, the most important thing in my life right now, is that I apologize to my family. To those, I hurt I’m so very sorry.”

Rose, the one-time president of the Boston Police Patrolmen’s Association, changed his plea to guilty during a hearing in Suffolk Superior Court.

Several of Rose’s six victims delivered victim impact statements. According to a release issued by the district attorney’s office, one of the victims talked about the “dead-soul feeling of emotional pain” the victim experienced because of the abuse.

“I saw you for what you really are—a coward, a predator of the weak and the defenseless,” the victim said.

“Nothing you can say or do will justify the horror we are going through,” one victim wrote in a statement. “You took their childhood from them, from me.”

Rose also served as a Boston police officer. He retired in 2018.

“He had these children’s trust from the beginning.  He didn’t need to gain it.  By virtue of his position, he had their trust,” prosecutor Audrey Mark said. “And he violated their trust over and over. He violated their bodies.  And these children, and these adult survivors, will live with that trauma for the rest of their lives.”

Rose’s case prompted a review of how accusations against Boston police are handled. He was allowed to stay on the job after he was accused of sexual assault on a child back in 1995.

Internal affairs decided there wasn’t enough evidence at the time.

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