On Wednesday, the New Orleans inspector general released a damning report on the city police's treatment of sexual assault cases. The New York Times reported that, according to the findings, hundreds of reported sexual assault cases were not pursued by the five NOPD detective charged with the task. Only 14 percent of sexual assault reports were found to have records of follow-ups over a three year period.
"As the chief of police, I am deeply disturbed by the allegations in this report," Superintendent of Police Michael S. Harrison told reporters.
According to the Times, the detectives appointed to oversee sexual assault calls have now been removed from the special victims section following the report's release. The inspector general is further investigating the NOPD negligence and the Times reported that criminal charges against the detective could follow.
Of 1,290 sex crime "calls for service" made to the NOPD detectives between 2011 and 2013, 840 were designated "miscellaneous" in police records and were given no further follow up, the Times noted. The Times highlighted a particularly disturbing case from the inspector general's report, in which a 2-year-old was brought to the emergency room and was suspected to be a victim of sexual assault. The child was found to have a sexually transmitted infection. The detective failed to follow up on the case and closed it, the Times reported.
NOPD has come under previous scrutiny for its treatment of sex crime. A 2011 Justice Department report found that the police department routinely reclassified rape as "miscellaneous charges" and discouraged victims from pursuing prosecution.
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