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100 sex abuse, domestic violence cases possibly closed prematurely, chief says

By Peter Samore | Posted - Nov 28th, 2013 @ 3:03pm

WEST VALLEY CITY — Three West Valley police detectives could be punished for possibly closing 100 sex abuse and domestic violence cases prematurely, perhaps leaving victims without help and attackers free to roam.

West Valley police Chief Lee Russo said the possible wrongdoing happened during the last administration. The cases go back 12 to 18 months, and they never made it to the Salt Lake County District Attorney's Office for possible charges. He wants to know if the closed cases were careless mistakes or corruption.

"Certainly, it could mean that a criminal was left at large; now, a dangerous criminal? Without particulars of the case, it's hard to press who was the suspect and who was left out there or not," Russo said.

Russo said the actions of the detectives could have been anything from negligence to downright criminal and corrupt.

"I can tell you that, when I looked at the personnel files, there was no formal disciplinary action, which gives me an opportunity and latitude, if necessary, to bring forward administrative review," Russo said.

Russo has given the department two weeks to review all of the cases. Russo is also in contact with Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill, who has not previously seen the cases.

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