Tuesday, July 24, 2018

The stunning lack of investigation into sexual assaults in Minnesota

Yet another jaw-dropping investigation by the Star Tribune's Brandon Stahl, this time with Jennifer Bjorhus and MaryJo Webster.

A Star Tribune review of more than 1,000 sexual assault cases, filed around the state in a recent two-year period, reveals chronic errors and investigative failings by Minnesota’s largest law enforcement agencies, including those in Minneapolis and St. Paul.

In almost a quarter of the cases, records show, police never assigned an investigator.

In about one-third of them, the investigator never interviewed the victim.

In half the cases, police failed to interview potential witnesses.

Most of the cases — about 75 percent, including violent rapes by strangers — were never forwarded to prosecutors for criminal charges. Overall, fewer than one in 10 reported sexual assaults produced a conviction, records show.

Victims see it as a stark betrayal.

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