I didn't get a "harrumph" from that guy
It's no secret here that one of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio's major fuck-ups is his failure to investigate or prosecute more than 400 sex crimes, some committed on children as young as two. The story made national headlines, and is one of Democrat Paul Penzone's talking points this election, and rightfully so.

Add the unprosecuted rapes to Arpaio's misappropriation of funds, the birther craziness, the criminal activities that occurred in his office, and his basic ineffectiveness as a lawman, and he's as vulnerable as he's ever been. The Sheriff's got a $7-million war chest, so we might expect some classy ads attacking Penzone as a masturbator or something.

We hear this number "more than 400" in the news, but it's almost faceless. Until someone puts a face on it. That's what KPHO-TV in Phoenix did last night, with a story that describes one girl's young life of rape. By her uncle. Sabrina Morrison was 13 and it happened a lot. She got pregnant and had an abortion. She's also mentally and physically challenged. I can't embed the station's 7-minute video so here's the link, but a little ranty context:

Joe Arpaio's office knew about Sabrina's story, but said she was lying. They knew of hundreds more stories like hers. Rather than check them out, the Sheriff prioritized investigating mortgage fraud in Fountain Hills, a tony community 30 miles northeast of Phoenix, laid out around a really high fountain, the hook that launched FH. It was the dream of Robert McCulloch, the chainsaw guy and also the developer of another gimmick town: Lake Havasu City. He's the dude who brought over the London Bridge.

Did I mention that Sheriff Arpaio lives in Fountain Hills? He put mortgage fraud in his very white (94%) and well-off town ahead of investigating hundreds of rapes, many in El Mirage, a mostly Hispanic city (66%) on Phoenix's westside. Former El Mirage and Phoenix policeman Bill Louis got so pissed at Arpaio's response to the controversy that he wrote a book.

"When he said what he did, you know, 'I apologize if there were any victims,' that just set me off, and I just said, 'How can that guy be so heartless?' " said Louis, who was El Mirage's assistant chief for three years. Arizona Republic
In KPHO's story, reporter Morgan Loew provides a valuable, and documented, history of the sex-crimes scandal, and he interviews Sabrina and her mother. Think of more than 400 conversations like that, stories about known crimes that went uninvestigated for four years or more—while the assaults continued. Morgan Loew tries to get an answer from Arpaio at a press conference. The Sheriff has a harrumph.

Here's to sending the old fart home this November, kudos to KPHO and to Stephen Lemons at New Times for his righteous rant.

Not that I had a lot of respect for this faux lawman to begin with, but to see Sabrina on TV next to her mom, and to contemplate what terror she must have endured because of the MCSO's grotesque incompetence, engenders physical repulsion.

I would not wipe my shoe clean on Arpaio's backside. This octogenarian idiot should resign in shame.

Shame, no shame, undecided about shame, just go.

Originally posted to Maggie's Farm on Fri Sep 28, 2012 at 11:08 PM PDT.

Also republished by Baja Arizona Kossacks and Rape and Domestic Violence.

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