When you think of private investigators, you don’t usually
imagine the state of Kentucky as their stomping ground, but the flexibility of
a private investigator’s skills can be applied in any city, any state, as long
as the investigator meets the state requirements for independent licensure—and
Louisville private investigators are never hard-up for casework. The city of
Louisville, Kentucky is synonymous with so many well-known aspects of American
Culture. It’s the home of legendary boxer, Muhammad Ali, the annual Kentucky
Derby, Louisville Slugger bats, and Kentucky Fried Chicken. It’s a vibrant
cultural hub smack in the middle of America that combines metropolis energy
with southern charm. Despite the fact that it’s one of the safest cities in
America, Louisville also experiences a higher rate of violent crime than the
U.S. as a whole. With The speed, anonymity, and geo-social aspects of the city
make it an ideal place for a private investigator to set up shop.
Relative to its size and population, Louisville is
comparable to Baltimore or Glasgow (U.K.). It has a crime rate of 647 violent
crimes per 100,000 people. In 2017 the Louisville Metropolitan Police
Department fielded 4,428 violent crimes, 44% of the entire state total. That’s
an average of 12 violent crimes reported every day. Even police departments
that are well-funded and well-manned have difficulty juggling the caseload per
investigator, and that is where private investigators come in.
Private investigators as a profession have a reputation for seedy
surveillance and cloak-and-dagger tactics, but the same services that expose
cheating spouses and hidden assets can assist in casework for violent crime. In
a 2018 investigative piece, Louisville’s radio station WFPL 89.3 reported that
LMPD closed 51% of its open rape cases over the course of three years. However,
the Louisville station also determined that in a majority of those cases, they
closed them with the classification of “cleared by exception,” a status meant
for cases considered “exceptional situations,” often resulting in no arrests.
This has been characterized as Louisville’s PD attempt to improve their closure
rate. Jessie Halladay, a spokesperson for Louisville Metropolitan Police
Department said, “What it means is that we have done all that we can. We don’t
use that as a marker of success when we use ‘cleared by exception.”
Case closure does not mean there’s closure for the survivors
of these brutal crimes. In the best-case scenario of “cleared by exception,” it
could simply mean that the Louisville police hit a roadblock in investigative
methods such as witness location, evidence-gathering, or jurisdictional
boundaries that prevent them from investigating further. Private investigators
have a similar tool chest to that of law enforcement officers. Survivors of
violent crime without closure in their case can hire
private investigators to pick the case up where law enforcement left
off—locating vital witnesses, performing surveillance, and documenting casework
that can be helpful if the case is resurrected within the justice system, or if
the survivor wishes to face their attacker in civil court.
One of the nation’s foremost experts in missing persons, private investigator Thomas Lauth (Lauth Investigations) recently expanded his independent investigation firm to serve the Louisville population. “When cities like Louisville have difficulty closing cases within their respective police departments, that’s where private investigators can ‘pick up the slack,’ for lack of a better phrase. We can follow leads that law enforcement cannot and we can bring justice to survivors of violent crime who previously had no recourse.” With their autonomy, private investigators can pick up leads that law enforcement might have dropped, or locate witnesses that might have left the jurisdiction. Lauth went on to say that Louisville provides some unique opportunities for a variety of investigations. “Cities the size of Louisville have a level of CCTV surveillance that is beneficial in investigations for locating witnesses, getting accurate accounts of how an incident transpired, or capturing license plates for investigations involving vehicles.”
When police departments are overwhelmed, private
investigators can pick up the slack, and bring closure to victims of violent
crime or otherwise. They possess a similar skill set, juxtaposed with a level
of autonomy not afforded to law enforcement. This means jurisdictional issues
will never be a hurdle to stall case progression. Because private investigators
only have 3-4 cases on average at any given time, that means caseload will
never interfere with their ability to follow a lead in a timely matter. This
can lead to the recovery of new evidence, witness statements, and ultimately,
closure in your case. If you’re the victim of an unsolved crime, call Lauth
Investigations International today for a free consultation, and learn how we
can help you find justice today. Call 317-951-1100 today or visit our contact page.
With sexual assault allegations dominating recent news cycles, Americans are further developing their figurative picture of what it’s like for a survivor of sexual assault to come forward with allegations against their abuser. When a survivor comes forward, they are subjected to scrutiny, libel/slander, and fierce criticism from private citizens like themselves about how they should have handled the situation. Knowing that, it’s not incomprehensible that rage continues to fester in the communities affected by the Larry Nassar investigation and the USA Olympic Gymnastics organization’s glacial response time to allegations against him.
Nassar is currently in federal prison serving a 60-year sentence for possession of child pornography, which is a blip compared to the sentences he received from the judges in Ingham and Eaton County, both ranging from 40 years to as long as 175 years. More than 330 women and girls have come forward claiming to be a survivor of Nassar’s abuse. His sentence came after Nassar pled guilty to possession of child pornography and sexual misconduct with the young gymnasts he treated at the famous Karolyi Ranch in Texas. Sarah Jantzi was Maggie Nichols’ coach at the time—Maggie’s allegations of abuse against Nassar are considered some of the first in the string of gymnasts who came forward after the Nassar investigations became public. Jantzi reported her concerns about Nassar to USAG after she overheard Maggie and another gymnast discussing whether Nassar’s practices were considered “normal.”
Nassar treated Maggie for a knee injury, during which he insisted on examining her groin area. He did not wear gloves, and took pains to close the door and the blinds before beginning the examination. Jantzi also contacted Maggie’s mother, Gina Nichols, who told IndyStar, “It was nothing you’d expect in a million years. I mean, I’m sending my minor daughter the last four years, one week a month, down to the Ranch to train. So proud. She’s on the USA team. Working so hard. Our family making all these sacrifices. It’s just—you wouldn’t even think this is something that would have ever happened.”
USA Gymnastics officials waited a jaw-dropping 41 days to report Nassar to police after the first hearing regarding Jantzis concerns. It’s a bad look, and to make matters worse, the organization did not inform Michigan State, where Nassar also worked with young athletes until late summer in 2016. The notoriety of some of the survivors drew a great deal of media attention when the investigation became public, and while much of the country currently associates mention of the USAG with sexual abuse allegations, the reality is this culture of silence and abuse is not unique to the USA gymnastics team. Katherine Starr, a former Olympic swimmer and abuse victim who founded Safe4Athletes, a nonprofit organization working to address and prevent abuse told the Chicago Tribune, “We’re hearing all about gymnastics, but the problems in gymnastics are equally as prevalent in every other sport…I think people are starting to understand the complexity of this, and how this stays in the system…It stays in the system because of governance, because of the people in charge.”
Just this week, two divers for the USA Diving team have filed lawsuits against their former coach, John Wingfield, claiming his academy ignored complaints against a coach under his supervision, Johel Ramirez Suarez. The divers claim the organization had knowledge of Suarez’s alleged predation prior to Suarez sexually assaulting them both. Suarez was eventually arrested in Hamilton County, Indiana in November of 2017 and was subsequently charged with 32 felony counts of child sexual abuse, earning him a spot on the USA Diving teams banned list. Even after USAG had reported Larry Nassar to the FBI (13 months after the initial hearing), they still did add his name to that list.
In a review of documents and data pertaining to the organizations governing the sports, the Washington Post revealed since 1982, there have been over 290 coaches and officials affiliated with American Olympic sports who have been accused of sexual misconduct. That number covers 15 different Olympic sports, and includes both individuals who have been convicted of their crimes and individuals who have never had to answer for the allegations made against them. The figure averages out to one official being accused of sexual misconduct every six weeks for over 35 years. If the Nassar case tells us anything about how Olympic organizations might have typically responded to abuse allegations, it’s not a mystery how a culture of abuse and silence was cultivated as many attempts to investigate the abuse were swept under the proverbial AstroTurf.
Survivors like Aly Raisman have called out USA Gymnastics, claiming that they were more concerned about guaranteeing gold medals that protecting their young athletes. “I don’t think that they cared at all. I think at first it was to ‘get him away,’ Nassar away from the Olympians, but when it was about a 10-year-old, or a 15-year-old, or a 20-year-old in Michigan they didn’t care,” Raisman told the Indy Star. That much is apparent from emails between Nassar’s legal counsel and USAG officials, in which the Olympic organization clearly took part in the effort to conceal the Nassar investigation from athletes and from the public. Aly Raisman also told IndyStar that she received a text message from the former USA Gymnastics President, Steve Penny in July of 2017, advising her that the first priority was keeping the investigation “quiet and confidential.” It would have saved many survivors like Kaylee Lorincz a great deal of pain if the organization had made allegations against Nassar public. While under investigation, Nassar treated Lorincz twice after Sarah Jantzi notified USAG about her concerns. Lorincz says that she was abused both times by the sports medicine “celebrity,” and lamented, “It could have saved many more if they could have just stopped him in 2015. It makes me angry and upset because it could have prevented so much.”
At this time, it’s difficult to determine the motives of the USOC and how they reacted to allegations against Nassar and other officials who have been accused of sexual misconduct with athletes. Did they do so out of ignorance or apathy? Or was this a focused effort to erode investigations into these allegations all together? A recent Washington Post article called for law enforcement and state attorneys to open investigations into other USA Olympic teams and organizations. John Manly, an attorney who represents many survivors of Nassar’s abuse told the publication:
“The most amazing thing about this evolution is that no one has executed a search warrant on USA Gymnastics and no one has executed one on the USOC…If anyone deserves a search warrant given the evidence to date, it’s them. If you believe these Olympic gold medalists, then [USA Gymnastics] violated the reporting laws in Indiana. I mean, why haven’t you done something?”