TIME Crime

New Orleans Police Routinely Fail to Investigate Sex Crimes, Report Says

New Orleans Police patrol the French Quarter on Jan. 28, 2014 in New Orleans.
New Orleans Police patrol the French Quarter on Jan. 28, 2014 in New Orleans. An inspector general's report shows that NOPD detectives routinely fail to follow-up and investigate sexual assault cases. Sean Gardner—Getty Images

Report shows only 14% of cases over two years were properly investigated

The city of New Orleans’ top inspector has accused its police force of multiple failures to properly investigate sex crimes, in a damning new report.

Detectives ignored reports of sex crimes, failed to follow up on reported sexual abuse cases and routinely failed to provide documentation of sexual investigations, often writing up questionable case files, according to a report released by the city’s inspector general.

The report identified 1,290 sex crime incidents from 2011 to 2013 assigned to five detectives; only 179 (14%) included supplemental reports showing that they properly pursued and investigated those cases. In 450 cases with initial investigative reports filed by the detectives, 271 (60%) did not include documents showing that there was any additional follow-up.

While the report didn’t name the detectives, it did describe multiple instances where additional investigation appeared warranted, but wasn’t pursued. In one case, an infant was brought to an emergency room with a skull fracture from what a nurse described as “suspected non-accidental trauma.” The detective, however, did not investigate the incident further and closed the case.

In another case, involving a different detective, a woman who told police she had been sexually assaulted and that her iPhone had been stolen. But there was no follow-up investigation nor apparent efforts made to track her phone or obtain phone records.

The New Orleans police department has a history of mismanagement and problematic practices and has been under federal court supervision since 2012 in part due to issues like those raised by the inspector general’s report.

The federal oversight came about in part due to issues in investigating sexual assaults, with detectives often misclassifying or reclassifying sex crime incidents as lower-level “miscellaneous” offenses, leading to citywide numbers appearing lower.

TIME sex crimes

This Guy Is Using ‘Good Looks’ as a Rape Defense

Good looking alleged rapist says the sex was consensual because he is hot stuff

A man charged with kidnapping, robbing and raping an Atlanta woman says the sex was consensual because he’s just so damn good looking.

A previous trial resulted in a hung jury, where one juror believed Darriuos Mathis’s “good looking” defense while 11 voted to convict him.

The 24-year old survivor testified Wednesday that one night over two years ago, Mathis stopped her as she was leaving a CVS and kidnapped her at gunpoint, forced her to take money out of various ATMs and ultimately sexually assaulted her. “He had told me to get in the car and I actually begged him to take my car,” she said. “I had pushed my wallet that was in my hand and my keys toward him and I was like ‘Please take my car. You can take my cards and everything.”

Mathis’s defense attorneys are arguing that the victim consented to the sex, mostly because of Mathis’s sexy appearance and the fact that she gave him her phone number. The survivor says she gave him the phone number because she was terrified.

Mathis’s lawyer presented an alternative narrative to the evening; he said that the victim was taken with Mathis’s good looks and sparkling personality and she also wanted to buy drugs from him. “He walked up to her with a bottle of Vicodin and said, ‘Wanna buy some pills? She said, “Sure,” get in. We’ll go to the ATM,” said attorney Carter Clayton.

Neither Clayton nor his good-looking client could not be immediately reached for comment.

[KiroTV]

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