Ariz. sheriff apologizes for botched cases

By JACQUES BILLEAUD | December 5, 2011 | 6:15 PM EST

PHOENIX (AP) — Sheriff Joe Arpaio has apologized to victims for his office's botched investigations of a large number of sex-crimes cases.

Arpaio's office has been under scrutiny for its handling of investigations in the city of El Mirage. He discussed the cases in a news conference a day after The Associated Press ran an article outlining some of the bungled investigations.

Arpaio's office says 432 sex-crimes investigations from El Mirage and other parts of the county were reopened after his office learned cases hadn't been investigated adequately or weren't examined at all.

The reopened cases resulted in 19 arrests, a figure the sheriff's office considers to be average for sex-crimes cases.