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A Federal Law Compelled Police To Launch A Rape Investigation At The Jackson County Jail

Sam Zeff
KCUR 89.3

Kansas City police say a federal law spurred a rape investigation in late May at the Jackson County jail after two detainees were seen alone together.

It came up during a Kansas City council committee meeting Wednesday that the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) sparked the investigation.

The law was enacted in 2003. According to the U.S. Department of Justice website, it “applies to all public and private institutions that house adult or juvenile offenders and is also relevant to community-based agencies. It addresses both inmate-on-inmate sexual abuse and staff sexual misconduct.”

Kansas City police had arrested both detainees. They were in separate holding tanks, waiting to be processed into the jail on city charges.

Guards saw the two detainees alone together. This sort of situation is one of the protocols that could launch a PREA investigation. 

"It was presented to the prosecutor, who is not pursuing charges," Kansas City Police Department spokesman  Darin Snapp wrote in an email.

Mike Mansur, spokesman for Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker, confirmed in an email that there was "insufficient evidence" to bring charges.

Sam Zeffis KCUR's Metro Reporter. You can follow Sam on Twitter: @samzeff

You deserve to know what your taxpayer dollars are paying for and what public officials are doing on your behalf – I’ll work to report on irresponsible government spending in the Kansas City area and shed light on controversies that slow government down. And when you hear my voice in the morning, you know you’re getting everything you need to start your day. Email me at sam@kcur.org, find me on Twitter @samzeff or call me at 816-235-5004.
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