‘We dropped the ball’ on rape case: Alabama sheriff

Banfield

(NewsNation) —  A Louisiana sheriff released a statement Thursday saying his office “absolutely dropped the ball” on a rape investigation that was not addressed for years, according to a WBRZ Investigative Unit report

Crysta Abelseth says she met John Barnes, the man who allegedly raped her, at a bar in Louisiana on Dec. 15, 2005. She was only 16, and he was 30.

Abelseth filed a police report seven years ago, but apparently, nothing was done. She told NewsNation’s “Banfield” that she “made multiple phone calls to the detectives,” but she never heard back.

“Them admitting it is a big step forward at least, so we have that going for us,” Abelseth said.

Part of statement from the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office read:

“In tracing this case back to the time the initial complaint was filed on July 1, 2015, it was discovered that the report never made it through the proper channels within the department to be assigned for investigation. Therefore, our department absolutely dropped the ball, and we simply must own our mistake.  This is a mistake, however, that simply has never been a problem before or since, and we must make sure to keep it that way.”

The case has now been turned over to the district attorney’s office.

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