We were alarmed to read about how a detective in San Antonio mishandled more than 130 sex crimes cases going back four years.
The San Antonio police unit came under scrutiny in 2017 following reports a Special Victims Unit detective improperly investigated dozens of sex crime and family violence cases.
The information was given in an interview by Bexar County District Attorney Nico LaHood with mySA.com.
San Antonio Police Chief William McManus revealed some of the alleged crimes are already past the statute of limitations and can no longer be prosecuted. La Hood said:
“I’m frustrated at the possibility there are children out there wondering why their voice isn’t being heard, wondering why nobody is listening to them.”
MySA revealed one of these cases involved a woman who thought someone she was living with was drugging and raped her in her sleep. Another police report described how a homeless woman woke up and found a man sexually assaulting her.
These were two of the cases assigned to a 17-year department veteran who was fired from the Special Victims Unit, a section of the police department that deals with sex and family crimes.
The issue was first noticed in the summer of 2017. The police department started an audit when the police chief noticed a discrepancy between the cases reported and the number filed.
McManus said the responsible detective was transferred to a different department prior to the audit, though he did not say why.
San Antonio city attorneys are carrying out a complete review of all the cases dealt with by the Special Victims Unit to ensure no additional cases were mishandled.
In a suspension report compiled for the detective, officials with the police department specifically mentioned 15 of the cases he is accused of mishandling.
Eleven of these cases dealt with minors meaning the details could not be immediately released. The remaining four give some insight into the cases that appeared to be mishandled.
In the case of the homeless woman who claimed she was raped in 2016, the detective allegedly picked up information from the Bexar County Crime Lab about a possible suspect in the case.
He allegedly failed to act on the pertinent information and even tried to conceal it from his supervisor by closing the case without reporting the details or placing it into the investigative file.
The detective is also accused of failing to submit evidence to a crime lab for an entire year, from Aug. 15, 2016, to Aug. 15, 2017.
As Fort Worth criminal defense lawyers, it’s vital that police investigators do their job correctly to ensure the smooth administration of justice. Sadly, all too commonly they fall short of society’s expectations. If you have been charged with a crime, please call us today for a free consultation about your case.