Sex crimes are considered to be some of the most serious offenses that any person can commit. Because of the way society views sex offenses, law enforcement officials are often under a lot of pressure to make cases and get convictions. Unfortunately, those who are accused of sex crimes can face harsh potential penalties and will need to make certain they consult with a Schenectady sex crime lawyer for help as soon as possible if they have been accused of wrongdoing.
Because sex crimes are such serious offenses in the United States, it is imperative that any investigation into sex crimes be conducted with the utmost of integrity. Unfortunately, this does not always happen and problems can arise in connection with sex crimes investigations. Just recently, for example, Cleveland.com reported that an internal investigation of the handling of 60 sex crime cases revealed very serious problems with the investigation process.
Investigation of Sex Crimes Shows Serious Problems
According to Cleveland.com, a detective assigned to the sex crimes unit was assigned a total of 34 cases over the course of his first year which he indicated to internal affairs quickly became an unmanageable case load. The same detective was assigned another 94 cases the subsequent year.
The detective was unable to fulfill his responsibilities associated with so many cases, and the lieutenant in charge of sex crimes investigations told the defective that he was failing in his obligations because there was a large backlog of uncompleted cases going back to 2012. Yet, the detective was subsequently assigned another 91 sex crimes the following year before eventually being promoted from the sex crimes unit to become a sector supervisor overseeing patrol. When he switched to his new position, he handed over 65 open sex crime cases to another officer who was a captain.
Family members of victims and victims themselves subsequently began calling about open cases, and internal affairs later began an investigation when it became apparent that the sex crimes unit was shorthanded and cases had piled up without being solved.
After an internal affairs investigation, it was determined that reports on open cases were not filed and other lapses occurred. Because of the problems, several of the officers involved were ultimately demoted.
This timeline of events reported on by Cleveland.com reveals that the processes in place for investigations are not always effective or efficient. When cases are not investigated promptly, evidence can be lost that could potentially have proved exculpatory against those who are eventually accused. Understaffing could also lead to corners being cut and could result in false accusations or the wrong person being arrested.
If you have been accused of a sex crime, you cannot assume that investigators will behave professionally or will do their job in accordance with best practices and accepted law enforcement protocols. It is up to you to protect your interests when you’re being investigated – which means you need to consult with a Schenectady sex crime lawyer who can advocate for you and help you to navigate the criminal justice system. Contact an attorney for help as soon as you are under investigation to find out more.