New sex crime arises after Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio’s office fails to investigate
The complete article is here.
While admitting that it mishandled more than 400 investigations into rapes and sexual assaults, the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office claims its failures did not lead to additional crimes.
But in the pile of ignored cases is the alleged rape of a 17-year-old girl in 2006. Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s detectives largely disregarded the case, according to police records, never questioning the suspect, the accuser or any potential witnesses. The investigation was classified as “inactive.”
Two years after that incident, the suspect in that case, Armando De La Rosa, admitted to having sex with a 14-year-old girl, when he was 20, records show. He was later convicted of attempted sexual conduct with a minor - a plea agreement because he had no previous felonies on his record.
The family of the 14-year-old girl now blames Arpaio’s office for failing to protect their daughter by ignoring the first case.
The girl’s parents gave police the suspect’s name and address, as well as the address of the friend’s house, the police file shows. The information then was handed to the sheriff’s special victims unit in July of that year. Griffin said his office had only the suspect’s first name.
El Mirage formed its own police department in late 2007 and received boxes of pending investigations back from Arpaio’s office, including the alleged assault against the 17-year-old girl.
The cases were woefully incomplete, El Mirage Detective Jerry Laird wrote in the investigative files. Laird documented his attempts to interview the victim and others. ‘So far those efforts have been negative,’ he wrote.
So little work was done on the case that it is unclear if De La Rosa and others even knew they were involved in a rape investigation.
Russell Pearce and Joe Arpaio, following Pearce’s recall. Arpaio could be next. AP Photo/Matt York
The people behind the successful campaign to recall Russell Pearce are calling for Joe Arpaio to be forced out by the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors.
Critics of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio say they will pack the chambers of the Board of Supervisors Wednesday to try to persuade the politicians to ask for the sheriff’s resignation over his botched sex-crimes investigations.
Members of Citizens for a Better Arizona said they will descend on the five supervisors during their regularly-scheduled formal meeting to challenge them about their own ‘threshold for incompetence.’
‘People want to go to the Board of Supervisors to make public their position on what they think about these uninvestigated sex crimes under Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s watch,’ said Randy Parraz, president of the group. ‘We want to ask them, ‘What’s your number?’ If 400 is not enough for you Supervisor Wilson, Supervisor Kunasek, Supervisor Stapley, Supervisor Brock, what is your number? Is it 800, 1,000? This is about elected officials holding other elected officials accountable.’
I hope they succeed again.