The team’s cases all involve an element of sexual assault: offenses on their case lists include capital murder, attempted capital murder, aggravated sexual assault, sexual assault, and other felonies.
When handling their cases, prosecutors work to improve how we handle sexual assault cases by working closely with detectives early on to improve investigations, engaging with victims in a trauma informed way, and preparing for cases for trial.
The creation of this team came after CDA Sharen Wilson in 2018 attended a meeting that included various agencies that worked with victims of crime and law enforcement investigating crime. One organization in attendance noted that July 2018 had been an especially brutal month for sexual assaults in Tarrant county. Over 100 visitsby advocates to victims of sexual assault had occurred during that month.
CDA Wilson returned to the office and told the felony trial division to get ready – 100 hospital visits in a month meant there would likely be a huge increase in filed sexual assault cases in the coming months.
Months passed, but the rise in cases never happened – in total, the CDA office received 5 total cases of the possible 100 victims seen in the month of July 2018. This indicated a larger problem – sexual assaults were being reported at the hospital-exam level. But what was happening to the cases before they reached the CDA office?
What we found is the problem is a bit more complex than the simple conclusion “cases aren’t being filed” and involved issues that needed to be addressed in law enforcement, within the CDA office, and within our community.
County Telephone Operator 817-884-1111
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