Monday, April 30, 2007

Charges Filed Against John Doe In Case Where Investigator Called Victim A Liar

This Minnesota case first made the news because of the appalling actions of the initial investigator.

Criminal charges have been filed against a "John Doe" in connection with an abduction and sexual assault of a White Bear Lake girl. The victim was 13-years-old in 2001 when she told police the crime happened.

Back then, the police officer who investigated the case didn't believe her story. He repeatedly accused her of lying during an interrogation. "You keep lying and lying and lying and lying," the detective told her during the 2001 interrogation. "Do you want some innocent guy, driving around, doing his own business, to get arrested?" [...]

It is still difficult to watch the video of the 8th grader, who is now a freshman in college, being interrogated by the officer who didn't believe her story. However, her parents, who don't want their names to be used, refused to give up.

Too often the case ends once the investigator decides -- without any credible evidence -- that the alleged victim is the real perpetrator. Thanks to this girl's parents who refused to accept this outcome, other investigators looked at this case and they at least have DNA from this girl's kidnapper, but I wonder what might have been.

If the first investigator did his job maybe they would have quickly found the perpetrator while people's memories were fresh and maybe they would have been able to find enough evidence to make a strong case against that person and maybe a jury would have gotten the case and found the kidnapper guilty.

Someone who will kidnap a child will likely look for another potential victim. Maybe this investigator's mistake has contributed to additional crimes. That means one false accusation against one victim likely has an impact on more than this one victim and that victim's family.

We must demand the highest ethics from all investigators and we must support giving those in law enforcement -- who can learn to do better -- the training needed to reduce the number of incidents like this until they are only a distant bad memory.

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 4:38 PM   1 comments links to this post


At April 30, 2007 6:37 PM, Blogger sly civilian said...

that video is nothing less than heartbreaking...i'm glad to see it air like that, but i wish they made note that this kind of disbelief isn't a singular anomaly.


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