MCSO blames lack of staff for bungled sex crimes cases - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

5 Investigates

MCSO blames lack of staff for bungled sex crimes cases

Sheriff Arpaio lashes out at 5 Investigates reporter Morgan Loew Sheriff Arpaio lashes out at 5 Investigates reporter Morgan Loew
PHOENIX (CBS5) -

The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office says it was a system problem that caused the department to drop the ball on hundreds of sex crime cases.

MCSO said their special victims unit that handles sex crimes was woefully understaffed.

An internal investigation just released Monday concluded that the "deficiencies identified ... were not problems that stemmed from the conduct of one or a few individuals."

The move follows months of requests by CBS 5 News, which escalated to the threat of legal action if the documents remained withheld.

The attorney for CBS 5 set a deadline of Monday, Feb. 11. On Friday, MCSO announced it would release the 10,000 pages of documents from the investigation Monday.

The documents detailed the extent to which the Special Victims Unit was understaffed from 2004 to 2008. Its five detectives handled an average of 315 sex crimes cases per year.

The investigation revealed how those detectives began cutting corners. They cleared a total of 270 cases without fully investigating them and failed to impound 460 pieces of evidence. In some cases, they took evidence home with them.

In 2006, after complaints about staffing levels from a lieutenant, the sheriff's office approved five additional detective positions and one more sergeant position for the unit. But those officers were diverted to other areas within the sheriff's office.

In 2008, MCSO discovered hundreds of cases that had gone uninvestigated or had been inadequately investigated. At that point, the department began an internal investigation to find out why.

Two deputies in the unit resigned. Five deputies were notified they would be suspended, but on Monday the suspension orders were rescinded.

At the time of the cases, the unit had one sergeant and five detectives. Now they have two sergeants and 11 detectives.

One of the victims of those cases was Sabrina Morrison. She was 13 years old when her uncle raped her in 2007. Despite alerting MCSo to the crime the day after the assault, the case sat idle for four years. The uncle, Patrick Morrison, wasn't arrested until five years later.

[Related: Rape victim opens up about botched MCSO investigation]

"An eighth-grader could have solved this case," said Charles Surrano, who is Sabrina's attorney. "They knew who the suspect was. They knew where he lived. He never left the jurisdiction in all five years the case was neglected."

In an email, the sheriff's office stated that it would provide copies of the reports for $5,000 cash or money order. The Arizona public records law requires government agencies to make documents available for inspection free of charge.

Stay with cbs5az.com for updates on this developing story.

Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

Sidebar: MCSO Sex Crimes

Updated:

Letter 1 - 12/26/12 Letter 2 - 1/15/13 Response - 1/14/13 Letter 3 - 1/30/13 Response - 2/1/13 Letter 4 - 2/6/13 Response - 2/8/13 More>>

  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • Texas man sentenced to 50 years for $1.2M theft of fajitas

    Texas man sentenced to 50 years for $1.2M theft of fajitas

    Monday, April 23 2018 2:18 PM EDT2018-04-23 18:18:31 GMT
    Tuesday, April 24 2018 11:52 AM EDT2018-04-24 15:52:30 GMT
    The Brownsville Herald reports Gilberto Escamilla told the court the fajita scheme spun out of control. (Source: gaudiikari/Wikicommons)The Brownsville Herald reports Gilberto Escamilla told the court the fajita scheme spun out of control. (Source: gaudiikari/Wikicommons)

    A Texas man has been sentenced to 50 years in prison for stealing $1.2 million worth of fajitas over nine years.

    More >>

    A Texas man has been sentenced to 50 years in prison for stealing $1.2 million worth of fajitas over nine years.

    More >>
  • Woman says deputies lied to get a warrant, then sexually assaulted her

    Woman says deputies lied to get a warrant, then sexually assaulted her

    Monday, April 23 2018 10:50 PM EDT2018-04-24 02:50:48 GMT

    A Catawba County woman says she has been the victim of harassment from the county’s sheriff’s office, who, records show, have executed multiple search warrants at her home in less than a year.  

    More >>

    A Catawba County woman says she has been the victim of harassment from the county’s sheriff’s office, who, records show, have executed multiple search warrants at her home in less than a year.  

    More >>
  • 2 teens allegedly killed mother of 1 of the boys

    2 teens allegedly killed mother of 1 of the boys

    Tuesday, April 24 2018 8:20 AM EDT2018-04-24 12:20:50 GMT
    Tuesday, April 24 2018 8:36 AM EDT2018-04-24 12:36:45 GMT
    Kimberly Mironovas' body was found around 2 a.m. Sunday. Police said her son and another teen killed her. (Source:Kimberly Mironovas' body was found around 2 a.m. Sunday. Police said her son and another teen killed her. (Source:

    Kimberly Mironovas' body was found around 2 a.m. Sunday. Police said her son and another teen strangled her. 

    More >>

    Kimberly Mironovas' body was found around 2 a.m. Sunday. Police said her son and another teen strangled her. 

    More >>
  • NewsMore>>

  • For the first time, Facebook spells out what it forbids

    For the first time, Facebook spells out what it forbids

    Tuesday, April 24 2018 5:46 AM EDT2018-04-24 09:46:09 GMT
    Tuesday, April 24 2018 12:19 PM EDT2018-04-24 16:19:05 GMT
    (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File). FILE - In this March 29, 2018, file photo, the logo for Facebook appears on screens at the Nasdaq MarketSite in New York's Times Square. For the first time, Facebook is making public, on Tuesday, April 24, its detailed gu...(AP Photo/Richard Drew, File). FILE - In this March 29, 2018, file photo, the logo for Facebook appears on screens at the Nasdaq MarketSite in New York's Times Square. For the first time, Facebook is making public, on Tuesday, April 24, its detailed gu...

    For the first time, Facebook spells out how it decides whether to delete your posts.

    More >>

    For the first time, Facebook spells out how it decides whether to delete your posts.

    More >>
  • Toronto driver charged with 10 counts of 1st degree murder

    Toronto driver charged with 10 counts of 1st degree murder

    Tuesday, April 24 2018 12:25 AM EDT2018-04-24 04:25:49 GMT
    Tuesday, April 24 2018 12:17 PM EDT2018-04-24 16:17:51 GMT
    (Aaron Vincent Elkaim/The Canadian Press via AP). Officials carry a body into a vehicle after a van mounted a sidewalk crashing into pedestrians in Toronto on Monday, April 23, 2018. The rented van jumped onto the crowded sidewalk Monday, killing and i...(Aaron Vincent Elkaim/The Canadian Press via AP). Officials carry a body into a vehicle after a van mounted a sidewalk crashing into pedestrians in Toronto on Monday, April 23, 2018. The rented van jumped onto the crowded sidewalk Monday, killing and i...

    Police in Canada's biggest city are piecing together witness accounts and surveillance video trying to determine why a driver plowed a rented van along a crowded sidewalk, killing 10 people and injuring 15 in what...

    More >>

    Police in Canada's biggest city are piecing together witness accounts and surveillance video trying to determine why a driver plowed a rented van along a crowded sidewalk, killing 10 people and injuring 15 in what many said seemed a deliberate attack.

    More >>
  • The Latest: Senators: 'Serious' charges made against Jackson

    The Latest: Senators: 'Serious' charges made against Jackson

    Tuesday, April 24 2018 9:46 AM EDT2018-04-24 13:46:17 GMT
    Tuesday, April 24 2018 12:11 PM EDT2018-04-24 16:11:07 GMT
    (AP Photo/Alex Brandon). In this April 16, 2018, photo, U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson, M.D., sits with Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., chairman of the Veteran's Affairs Committee, before their meeting on Capitol Hilin Washington. Jackson is President D...(AP Photo/Alex Brandon). In this April 16, 2018, photo, U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson, M.D., sits with Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., chairman of the Veteran's Affairs Committee, before their meeting on Capitol Hilin Washington. Jackson is President D...

    The White House is standing behind Ronny Jackson, President Donald Trump's choice to be Veterans Affairs secretary amid growing questions about his qualifications.

    More >>

    The White House is standing behind Ronny Jackson, President Donald Trump's choice to be Veterans Affairs secretary amid growing questions about his qualifications.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly