Ariz. sex-crime cases poorly probed

Sept. 26, 2012 at 5:56 PM
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PHOENIX, Sept. 26 (UPI) -- The sheriff's office in Maricopa County, Ariz., says it will do more investigating on 28 sex-crime cases prosecutors said weren't solid enough to prosecute.

The sheriff's office was forced to reopen its investigations of hundreds of sex crimes after investigative failures emerged in 2007, and an internal audit of more than 500 cases, from 2005 to 2008, found 400 required additional police work. After the County Attorney's Office began reviewing the cases, it returned 59 to sheriff's detectives, asking for additional work, The (Phoenix) Arizona Republic reported Wednesday.

"We worked jointly with the County Attorney's Office to get to the bottom of this," Sheriff Joe Arpaio said Tuesday. "We reviewed these cases because we wanted to do the best we could on every single case."

Examples of improper investigations include an alleged 2005 rape in which a suspect was never interviewed, and a 2002 incident in which relatives were never interviewed after a man admitted a sexual assault of an acquaintance to them, prosecutors said in a document they prepared for detectives.

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