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Revolting: Sheriff Joe Botched or Ignored 400 Sex Crime Cases, Including Child Molestation

 
 
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 Sheriff Joe Arpaio is best known as a fanatically militant crusader against immigration in his home state of Arizona, but it looks like he's picked up another feather for his shame cap: according to an AP report, over 400 sex crimes reported to Arpaio's office were "inadequately investigated," if they were worked at all. The cases included rapes and sexual molestation, and in the latter case, many of the victims, though certainly not all, were the children of undocumented immigrants. Victims were as young as two years old:

El Mirage Detective Jerry Laird, who reviewed some the investigations, learned from a sheriff's summary of 50 to 75 cases files he picked up from Arpaio's office that an overwhelming majority of them hadn't been worked.

That meant there were no follow-up reports, no collection of additional forensic evidence and zero effort made after the initial report of the crime was taken. [...]

Bill Louis, then-assistant El Mirage police chief who reviewed the files after the sheriff's contract ended, believes the decision to ignore the cases was made deliberately by supervisors in Arpaio's office – and not by individual investigators.

"I know the investigators. I just cannot believe they would wholesale discount these cases. No way," Louis said. "The direction had to come (from) up the food chain."

Louis said he believes whoever made the decision knew that illegal immigrants – who are often transient and fear the police – were unlikely to complain about the quality of investigations. He said some cases also involved families here legally.

The report details instances of both toddlers and teens being reported as molested, with no follow up. Read the full piece here.

 

AlterNet / By Julianne Escobedo Shepherd

Posted at December 5, 2011, 6:27am