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Travis County officials working together to try to bolster sex assault investigations

In recent months, officials have been studying 625 reported sexual assaults in Travis County from 2017.

TRAVIS COUNTY, Texas — A dozen law enforcement officials from across Travis County and advocates for sexual assault survivors are working to try to better understand why some cases don't result in successful prosecutions. 

The group is part of the Interagency Sexual Assault Team, formed amid a wave of criticism from some about how law enforcement officials handle sexual assault cases.

"Let's dig deep," Pflugerville Police Chief Jessica Robledo, who chairs the group, said. "What's working? What's not working?"

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In recent months, officials have been studying 625 reported sexual assaults in Travis County from 2017.

According to preliminary findings, 38% washed out because of a communication breakdown between investigators and alleged victims who they said sometimes don't return calls or miss scheduled meetings. 

In 18% of cases, prosecutors didn't think evidence merited a case going forward.

Twelve percent of cases led to an arrest, and the others are still open. 

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District Attorney Margaret Moore said understanding statistics like that is key. 

"Without that information, we can't decide where can we improve our process and how can we explain to the community whether we are being successful for not," Moore said.

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