2.19.2012

Who Is This "Predator" Who Sexually Assaults Children? Part XXII

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By Lawrence W. Daly, MSc



“Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake” 
                                                                                                                                           Napoleon Bonaparte

There are exceptional law enforcement investigators who track down “Predators” who sexually assault children. It isn’t something most law enforcement officials want to or care to do. In fact it takes a special type of personality in the law enforcement field to find someone who wants to spend their career chasing after sexual offenders.

Some of the law enforcement agencies have the responsibility to monitor the registered sex offenders in their community. The sex offender has a specific amount of time to contact the city or county law enforcement agency that they have arrived into their jurisdiction, where they will be living and working.

The information they provide to law enforcement may become a factor if a child is sexually assaulted. Being able to show a child a photograph of the registered sexual offender who lives in their community may prove to be of value. If the child is able to locate the sexual offender in looking through the photographs the investigation will go to the next level and that is to contact the sexual offender and find out his side of the story.

Most sexual assaults aren’t as simple as having the child come into the law enforcement agency, be shown some photographs, she selects the sexual offender, case over. If investigations were that easy law enforcement investigators would have to find another crime to investigate.

Registered Sex Offenders
Registered Sex Offenders (Photo credit: War Crimes)
Sexual offender cases require patience, intelligence, creative thinking, being thorough and complete. If the law enforcement investigator can follow a set of protocols, procedures, policies, and processes the success of the investigation will be successful. Successful should not denote that the outcome proved the alleged sexual offender committed the act, no the outcome should be the investigator uncovered the truth.

Just because the alleged child victim stated the alleged sexual offender committed the sexual act doesn’t mean the incident happened or the incident did not happen the way the alleged child victim stated it happened. The investigator has to prove or disprove that a crime was committed. If the alleged child victim discloses some touching, but the touching was not criminal, then there may be no crime. The question of course would be why was the alleged sexual offender touching the alleged child victim.

There are explanations for everything, but if the alleged sexual offender is not related to the alleged child victim then there is no reason for him to have been touching the alleged child victim. The touching could be considered an assault. Depending on the type of touching occurred the alleged sexual offender could be charged with a serious crime.

If the alleged sexual offender had a background which involved sexually assaulting children, then the investigator could try to prove the alleged sexual offender touched the alleged child victim for purposes of sexual gratification. Even though the sexual touching did not occur the alleged sexual offender could be charged with attempting to commit an act of child molestation.

The many options the investigator has available to him allow the investigator to be creative and innovative when it comes to the specific criminal charge the alleged sexual offender will eventually be charged with. The prosecutor is the individual who ultimately has the role and responsibility to criminally charge the alleged sexual offender with the crime.

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Law enforcement can only refer what they believe the criminal charges should be. The prosecutor and law enforcement official should sit down after the investigation is completed and discuss what criminal charges can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. If no criminal charges should be filed, then this should be discussed as well.

Later the defense attorney for the alleged sexual offender will contact the prosecutor and discuss the prosecutor’s filing decision. It is the role of the defense attorney to ascertain if the prosecutor is willing to plea bargain the criminal charge down. This does not mean the alleged sexual offender will take the plea bargain, but the defense attorney must advocate for the alleged sexual offender and then advise him/her what the prosecutor had to say about the criminal case.

The investigator may not be completed with the investigation at the time he presents it to the prosecutor. Sometimes witnesses are not available to interview and evidence which was submitted to the State Crime Lab is still waiting to be analyzed. These two key facets of the investigation may make a difference of whether an alleged sexual offender is charged with a crime.

WASHINGTON (June 25, 2009) The Naval Criminal ...
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In storing the file contents for trial, some law enforcement agencies have their own filing system, so the investigator can store the file and then take it from storage for court purposes. In interviewing law enforcement officials one of the methods and techniques now performed by the officials is the destroying of their hand written notes. 

This has been the common procedure for years. The purpose of the destroying of notes is for many reasons. First, there may be information on the notes which are personal to the child victim and the law enforcement official doesn’t want anyone to have this information. Second, the method and technique of how the information is documented on to the paper e.g. sloppy writing, not written in a logical manner is something the official does not want others to see. Third, they destroy their notes because this is how they are trained.

The destruction of notes demonstrates the lack of integrity the law enforcement official has and believes about his case. The notes may obtain exculpatory information which could exonerate the alleged sexual offender. Who is the law enforcement official to play investigator God? The judges who hear a law enforcement official disclose that they have destroyed their hand written notes should find against the State and dismiss the case. A violation of such magnitude would put a stop to a procedure which brings about disparity for everyone involved in the criminal case. Destroying potential evidence that would allow the alleged sexual offender to go free is criminal and should be pursued by the prosecutor.

The desire to do the right this has to be the attitude the law enforcement official must have. Telling an interviewer, judge or jury that the notes were typed into a written report and nothing was left out, is simply a lie. They wouldn’t have destroyed the written notes if there wasn’t something they didn’t want the defense attorney to find. Someday, the courts will take the necessary steps to keep law enforcement from destroying evidence which may decide someone’s freedom.

Tomorrow, the series is coming to a close and there is so much to talk about. Deciding what is important for you to learn about is a difficult decision because the “Predator” as we have seen is diverse and complex. It is the profile of the “Predator” which has made this series interesting. Examining just who this individual is will be the highlight of concluding this series.






Lawrence W. Daly
253-852-6702 B/P
253-852-6704 Fax
Kent, WA



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