Report on APD sexual assault cases handling to be finished February 2022

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AUSTIN (KXAN) — Public safety commissioners learned earlier this month that a city-led report about the Austin Police Department’s handling of sexual assault cases will be finished February 2022 at the earliest.

Amanda Lewis, who leads the Women and Public Safety Commission joint working group, said they have hired a consultant to review APD’s closed sexual assault cases. Most of the consultants’ time will be spent reviewing cases, followed by interviewing APD leadership and staff who work with victims.

“They’re gonna be reviewing half of the past cases that have been handled by APD over a 7 year period, so we’re talking about a really large review,” Lewis said.

Commissioners say it’s still unclear how these cases will be selected.

This evaluation, which Austin’s mayor and city council members called for in January, would be the third time APD’s sexual assault cases have been scrutinized. The Austin Police Department has done its own internal audit of how it handles sexual assault cases. The Department of Public Safety has looked into APD’s sexual assault cases as well, and found almost 1/3 of cleared rape cases were incorrectly classified.

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