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Nico Lahood says DA's office will investigate 130+ mishandled Special Victim's Unit cases

SAPD: Single detective at fault

SAN ANTONIO – Bexar County District Attorney Nico Lahood promised every single Special Victims Unit case said to have been mishandled will be examined carefully by his office.

More than 130 SVU cases are said to have been mishandled -- a figure San Antonio Police Officers Association president Mike Helle said is "greatly exaggerated."

Once SAPD turns its findings from an internal affairs investigation over to the DA's office, the DA's office will be conducting its own investigation. 

RELATED: Police chief, city manager ‘outraged' after SAPD SVU fails to properly investigate 130+ cases 

"Our intent in the DA's office is to not leave any victim behind, and secondly, not to leave any potential suspect out there," Bexar County District Attorney Nico Lahood said. "Obviously this is not a reflection on the whole department, this is a reflection on what appears to be a specific individual in a specific unit,"

Some of the cases involved children.

"Everyone knows the way I feel about children, and the way I feel about domestic violence and we will act appropriately and respond appropriately when the time is right," LaHood said.

Thursday, SAPD Chief William McManus wouldn't go into detail about the allegations, but called the detective's failure to follow procedure "negligence."

"That's the Chief's opinion," LaHood said. "That's not my opinion because I don't know yet. There could be intent, there could be recklessness."

LaHood said because of the complexity of the situation, there's no telling when SAPD will turn those cases over to his office, but when it does, LaHood promises to look into every victims case individually.

RELATED: Rape Crisis Center urges victims to support SAPD 

The microscope isn't just on the SVU detective in question, LaHood said any law enforcement agent who ignored his or her duties, will be held accountable. 

"We're going to do what we think is just, and fit, based off the law that we're going to be dealing with and the evidence and facts that are presented before us," LaHood said.

The SVU detective whose name has not been released because he has not been disciplined yet, has been reassigned.

RELATED: Chief, city manager 'greatly exaggerated' findings from SVU investigation, SAPD union president says 

The city manager and SAPD have requested a complete, outside review of all SVU cases by city attorneys. 

LaHood said depending on his office's findings, it's possible the detective in question could face one or several felonies, but right now, it's too early to say.

A lieutenant and two sergeants were also transferred, for failing to properly supervise the unit. 


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