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Victims Wonder Why Arpaio Let Sex-Abuse Cases Languish

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In November 2007, El Mirage detectives could not locate the victim, her mother, or the grandmother. They contacted Arizona CPS and "obtained nothing to go on." The case is considered active.

The girl's mother says she can't comprehend why police dropped the case. The girl was interviewed by experts several times, and they concluded she was telling the truth. But she says a Sheriff's Office detective told her that the case never would stand up in court, "that it was my daughter's word against [her assailant's]. They said they didn't want to put her through it."

Yet the girl and mother still are ready to testify, the woman tells New Times. The woman's phone number was passed along to El Mirage police at her request.

Asked whether she thought it was possible that her ex-husband could commit a similar crime, she replied, "If he did it to his own daughter, why couldn't he do it to somebody else?"

Pursuing such a sex-abuse investigation — after 5 1/2 years of inactivity — won't win Arpaio the kind of headlines he craves.

Which could explain why a teenage girl in Chicago still is seeking justice.



UPDATE: The investigation into the bad investigations was overseen by MCSO Executive Chief Brian Sands. Although numerous screw-ups by several employees were revealed, Sands concluded that no single person was responsible for the "systemic failure." No one was disciplined. Sands retired in August of 2013. In his 2014 book, Arpaio De Facto Lawman, Sands writes that he wanted to have Deputy Chief Scott Freeman disciplined, but that Arpaio wanted the matter dropped. The book also states that Arpaio wanted Sands to delay the completion of the investigation until after the 2012 election. The investigation was finished after the election, but Sands says he didn't intentionally delay it.

UPDATE: The investigation into the bad investigations was overseen by then-MCSO Executive Chief Brian Sands. Although numerous screw-ups by several employees were revealed, Sands concluded that no single person was responsible for the "systemic failure." No one was disciplined. Sands retired in August 2013. In his 2014 book, Arpaio De Facto Lawman, Sands writes that he wanted to have Deputy Chief Scott Freeman disciplined, but that Arpaio wanted the matter dropped.The book also states that Arpaio wanted Sands to delay the completion of the investigation until after the 2012 election. The investigation was finished after the election, but Sands says he didn't intentionally delay it.
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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.
Contact: Ray Stern