Critics of notorious Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio say he inadequately investigated over 400 sex-crime investigations, according to a report by the Associated Press.
AP sources, including current and former police officers, say that over three years, ending in 2007, sex-crime cases were not properly investigated, or not investigated at all. In the city of El Mirage, for example, there were 32 child molestations reported — 26 of which had suspects — that were not thoroughly investigated. One former El Mirage police officer told the AP that in many of the cases, the victims were children of illegal immigrants.
From the report:
El Mirage Detective Jerry Laird, who reviewed some the investigations, learned from a sheriff’s summary of 50 to 75 case files he picked up from Arpaio’s office that an overwhelming majority hadn’t been worked. That meant there were no follow-up reports, no collection of additional forensic evidence and zero effort after the initial report of the crime was taken.
“I think that at some point prior to the contract (for police services) running out, they put their feet on the desk, and that was that,” Laird said.
Arpaio said that the Sheriff’s office was conducting an internal probe into the allegations. “I don’t think it’s right to get into it until we get to the bottom of this and see if there’s disciplinary action against any employees.”
Read the full report here.