Inspector: No Sign Of Investigation In 1,111 New Orleans Sex Crime-Related Calls
NEW ORLEANS (CNN)- The report is full of harrowing details alleging that five New Orleans Police Department detectives in the special victims unit may have failed to investigate sex crimes over a three-year period.
But one case stands out.
According to the seven-page document released Wednesday by the city’s Office of Inspector General, a 2-year-old was brought to a hospital emergency room after an alleged sexual assault. Tests would show the toddler had a sexually transmitted disease, the report said.
The detective in the case wrote in his report that the 2-year-old “did not disclose any information that would warrant a criminal investigation and closed the case,” the inspector general’s report said.
The detective — identified only as “Detective A” — is one of five officers whose reports were examined in the investigation. Only nine detectives worked in the special victims unit during the period that was investigated.
The detectives are not being identified because of the ongoing investigation, but their names have been provided to the NOPD’s Public Integrity Bureau, the inspector general’s report says.
Though the detectives weren’t identified, Inspector General Ed Quatrevaux said they were not rookies. Police Superintendent Michael Harrison said the detectives were “seasoned,” and some had been with the NOPD for more than a decade.
“These people should have known… the right way to do things,” Quatrevaux said.
‘Not a word, even a single word‘
The inspector general’s findings indicate “there was no effective supervision of these five detectives over a three-year period. Nor could there have been any effective supervision of the supervisors, or any review of the outcome of the cases assigned to these five detectives.”
The Public Integrity Bureau identified 1,290 sex crime-related calls assigned to the five detectives and determined that in only 179 instances — 13.9% — did the detectives file “supplemental reports documenting any additional investigative efforts beyond the initial report; these 179 supplemental reports were the total written investigative product of the five detectives for sex crime-related calls for service for three years.”
When officers file an initial report, it’s intentionally short and vague so as not to identify the victim, Quatrevaux told CNN. The report mentions the assault and the location and notes that a supplemental report will follow, he said.
“But in 60 percent of the cases, there was no supplemental report,” he said. “There were a total of 1290 cases; 840, there’s not a word, even a single word. Nothing. Nothing. There’s nothing to note.”
Because of the void of information in those 840 cases, the inspector general’s report said, investigators “could not analyze 65% of the sex crime-related calls for service assigned to the five detectives.”
Of the remaining 450 calls that were designated as rape, simple rape or indecent behavior with a juvenile, documentation suggests the five detectives followed through in less than 40%, or 179, of the cases, the report said.