Our own Jon Green wrote in December about how, following the Sandy Hook Elementary massacre, GOP Sheriff Joe Arpaio was going to have his 3,000-strong gun-toting “posse” of volunteers patrolling Arizona’s schools, just like the NRA wanted. (This article was co-authored by John Aravosis.)
Today we find out that the posse reportedly included at least one man convicted of sex crimes against children. And even worse, and what no one has apparently yet realized: The convicted child sex criminal posse member worked for Arpaio for years in the Sheriff’s office until he was arrested in 2009.
Are we to believe that Arpaio had no idea who this guy was?
Armed child-sex criminals roaming Arizona’s schools. What could possibly go wrong?
What’s worse is that Arpaio has been facing heavy criticism for his alleged laxity on prosecuting sex crimes, particularly sex crimes against children. From the NYT:
Sheriff Arpaio, the top law enforcement official in sprawling Maricopa County, is perhaps best known for his hard-nosed treatment of prisoners and his aggressive raids aimed at illegal immigrants. But it is his department’s approach to more than 400 sex-crimes cases that has Sheriff Arpaio in trouble.
His deputies failed to investigate or conducted only the sketchiest of inquiries into hundreds of sex crimes between 2005 and 2007, investigations by Arizona law enforcement agencies have shown. Many of those cases involved molested children.
And only today we find out that after a lengthy five-year investigation, Arpaio has decided that no particular person is to blame for “hundreds of botched sex-crime investigations by the Maricopa County sheriff’s special-victims unit.” From the Arizona Republic, today:
A five-year investigation that produced nearly 10,000 pages of documents draws no clear conclusion on who is to blame for hundreds of botched sex-crime investigations by the Maricopa County sheriff’s special-victims unit.
The Sheriff’s Office on Monday released results of its long-running probe into why the unit mishandled sex-crime cases. It concluded that no single person was responsible for systemic failures that resulted in hundreds of cases being reopened.
Last year, an Arizona Republic investigation into the 400-plus reopened cases revealed that the Sheriff’s Office failed to adequately investigate reports of sex abuse and assault — in some cases never interviewing suspects or running background checks on known offenders.
Some sex-crime complaints were completely ignored. In other cases, files were later found gathering dust in a drawer or in a deputy’s garage. Those shortcomings, combined with lengthy delays in resolving cases, left alleged predators free to find other victims — sometimes for years.
So what happens? The sheriff accused of having lax standards for investigating sex crimes against children didn’t do a sufficient investigation to weed out a school posse member who had a record of sex crimes against children.
The controversial sheriff has teamed up with actor Steven Seagal to teach his “posse” how to handle school shooting incidents, and liquor story robberies. (Despite being 60 years old, actor Seagal claims to have “hundreds of thousands if not millions of hours into my weapons training.” I did the math. A million hours would make Segal 114 years old.) One presumes Seagal will be showing the fat old men how to do Aikido, when they’re not beating their wives, getting high, or committing sex crimes against children.
Courtesy of CBS, let’s meet one of the members of Joe Arpaio’s posse patrolling Arizona’s elementary schools:
And then there was Jacob Cutler. According to a Flagstaff police report, Cutler threw his girlfriend to the ground and choked her while trying to sexually assault her in 2008. When she didn’t cooperate, he allegedly threatened to call police and said they would side with him, because he “has a badge.” He was a member of Arpaio’s posse at the time.
Oh but it gets better. CBS reports again:
But then there’s Dominic Boulter, arrested in 2009 for crimes against children, and a year later he was sentenced. We found him still on the posse roster.
I did some googling, and I found an article from 2009 about Mr. Boulter’s arrest. The photo of Boulter is the same as above.
According to an arrest report, Boulter began using an online service called Phonezoo.com in early 2005 to meet young girls between 13 and 17 years old. Boulter ultimately exchanged nude photos and text messages with at least eight underage girls from around the country. Boulter also suggested that he meet the girls in person to engage in sex acts and to get married, according to court documents.
During the encounters, Boulter told the girls he was 15 years old, 27 years old and 32 years old, according to the document.
Boulter admitted to detectives that he had sent harmful images to one underage girl and that he chatted with another via text message and Web cam as he encouraged the child to masturbate, according to court documents.
And the best part? Boulter worked in the Maricopa County Sheriff’s office as a detention officer for seven years. And who was the Sheriff? More from AZCentral:
Sheriff Joe Arpaio declined to comment on the case.
We’re to believe that Sheriff Arpaio didn’t realize that his own employee was a posse member and/or that the employee had been convicted of a sex crime with children. That’s one hell of an oversight. Just how many employees did Arpaio have who were convicted of sex crimes?
Even creepier yet, following his conviction Boulter wasn’t permitted near children without supervision:
Boulter has been placed on an electronic-monitoring system and is not allowed to have unsupervised contact with minors.
Yet, Arpaio gave Boulter a job where he was put in charge of the safety of minors, and possibly armed.
If Arpaio wasn’t able to figure out that his own former employee was a sex criminal, how good a job is he going to do filtering out the other criminals he’s putting in and around Arizona’s elementary schools?
Apparently not that good a job. The local TV station checked out 2,000 of the 3,000 members of Arpaio’s posse and they found 60 or so with criminal records. Why didn’t Arpaio find them first? He’s the Sheriff. Doesn’t he have more resources than the local TV station when it comes to finding convicted criminals, not to mention, ones who used to work for him?