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DPS audit: More than two dozen rape cases incorrectly cleared by Austin Police

DPS looked at every sexual assault case that was cleared in January, November and December of 2017 (Photo: CBS Austin)

A large number of rape suspects remain on the streets of Austin without ever doing time behind bars.

Now the Austin Police Department is releasing the results of a Texas Department of Public Safety audit looking into how the department handles sex crime investigations.

DPS looked at 95 so-called "exceptionally cleared cases" from 2017.

Of those, the audit found 15 didn't fit the definition of rape, the survivor retracted their claims in 14, and in 29 cases APD used the code correctly.

However in 30 instances, DPS investigators believe Austin Police should not have cleared the case.

Chief Brian Manley says these are the initial findings of that investigation.

In order for a case to be exceptionally cleared, investigators have to identify the suspect and know where that suspect lives first.

Chief Manley says a case is exceptionally cleared if officers can do that and prosecutors either won’t press charges or victims won’t cooperate.

Manley says APD requested this audit weeks ago, and plans to look back into sexual assault cases and retrain investigators.

He says he expects to get the full report— which will include more information about each case and what went wrong— in a week and a half.

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