Stories

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 27,000 investigative stories.

Most of our stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center directly at 573-882-3364 or rescntr@ire.org where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Search results for "sex offenders" ...

  • WEWS-TV: Evading Justice

    The Ohio sex offender registry is supposed to help keep the public safe by providing access to information about convicts who have committed serious sexual offenses. But our extensive six-month-long investigation uncovered a loophole used by prosecutors and judges in one of the largest counties in the state that results in many accused rapists evading the registry. We found oftentimes the justice system allows suspects charged with rape to plead down to lesser and even completely unrelated charges – in a three-year period, there were more than 100 accused rapists who pleaded guilty to abduction, assault and endangering children, which allowed them to avoid registering as sex offenders. We also found many of those same defendants went on to be charged with another sexual offense after they evaded the registry, showing how this practice can put the public at risk.
  • Unintended Consequences: Sex Offenders in Motels & Hotels

    In a six-month investigation, NBC5 Investigates found 667 sex offenders living at 490 motels and hotels throughout Illinois and nine surrounding states. Though many check in to these motels for a few weeks or months at a time, we found that approximately half of these offenders stay there for at least six months or more – and sometimes for years. With few exceptions in just a handful of towns across the country, it is perfectly legal for any registered sex offender to take up residence at a hotel or motel. Often these offenders have few other places where they can legally reside – because they can’t live near parks or schools, which dot most residential areas. There’s also somewhat of a trend away from funding for halfway houses and mental health re-entry facilities, where these offenders might otherwise go.
  • TX Observer: Prison by Any Other Name

    Since the 1990s, Texas has run a controversial, constitutionally dubious “civil commitment” program that keeps hundreds of sex offenders in intensive monitoring and treatment long after they’ve finished their prison sentences. In 2015, after the agency running the program nearly imploded amid mismanagement, Texas lawmakers essentially turned civil commitment over to a scandal-ridden private prison contractor eager to gobble up contracts at the intersection of incarceration and therapy. The result: non-existent treatment, shoddy medical care, and a new taxpayer-funded, privately operated lockup in middle-of-nowhere Texas, where men under civil commitment are now confined indefinitely. Since the facility opened, only five men have been released — four of them to medical facilities where they later died.
  • Sex Offenders in Nursing Homes

    Our Fox 4 investigation discovered 200 registered sex offenders live in nursing homes, residential care facilities, and assisted living facilities in Missouri. Our statewide investigation revealed learned more than 95% of the offenders committed heinous crimes against children, including child molestation, aggravated sexual abuse, and sodomy. We learned Missouri law does not require these homes to disclose that registered sex offenders live in the facilities. There is also no state law requiring background checks on residents of these facilities.
  • IRW: The Boy on the Bus

    The Investigative Reporting Workshop found deep cracks in the registry system for sex offenders that allow predators to move, skip registration, and begin new lives under the radar in a new neighborhood — unless they are arrested again. The story was published with IowaWatch.
  • Labeled for Life

    “Labeled for Life”, a three-part investigative series, published by the Columbia Missourian in May of 2018, exposed and explored Missouri’s rigid sex offender laws months prior to a major legislative change that enabled some registrants to petition to be removed from the lifetime list. This local reporting project began as a class assignment and grew into a big national story that brought to light Missouri’s booming export of sex offenders to neighboring states where laws are not as stringent.
  • Violation of Trust

    A Belleville News-Democrat investigation found that out of 6,744 felony sex crimes reported by victims to police from 2005-2013 in 32 Southern Illinois counties, 70 percent were not prosecuted. And when they were, fewer than one in 10 suspects ever went to prison. Prosecutors blamed police, saying most of the cases they received did not have enough evidence to secure a conviction. http://media.bnd.com/static/media/VOT/index.html http://media.bnd.com/static/media/VOT/index2.html http://media.bnd.com/static/media/VOT/index3.html http://media.bnd.com/static/media/VOT/index4.html
  • Under The Radar

    In an exhaustive, unprecedented review of more than 1,300 military court martial cases the Scripps Washington Bureau discovered at least 242 convicted military rapists, child molesters, and other sex offenders have fallen under the radar and slipped through what a member of the House Armed Services Committee calls a “gaping loophole” in the system. Scripps discovered some military sex offenders go on to re-offend in heinous ways on unsuspecting victims in the civilian world.
  • Sex Offender Program

    The stories spotlighted a little-known state agency and civil commitment program that purported to be a treatment program for convicted sex offenders, revealing questionable and abusive practices and raising questions about its constitutionality. In addition to uncovering the details of questionable contracts, the stories revealed a systemic and ongoing failure by state officials to conduct the civil commitment program in accordance with state law, best practices, and its overall constitutionality. Unlike civil commitment programs in other states, Texas’ program effectively operated as an additional criminal punishment for some of society’s least sympathetic offenders, forcing them into a purported treatment and educational program no one has successfully completed in its 15-year history. The stories have sparked a nearly completed housecleaning of the Office of Violent Sex Offender Management leadership and plans for a revamp of the entire program. The state district judge who oversees most of the court cases involving the civil commitment program also is the subject of an investigation by the State Commission on Judicial Conduct. In addition to a series of investigations and a state audit underway, legislators have called for an overhaul of the program and may revisit the original authorizing law.
  • Chicago police failing to register sex offenders

    These stories detail the Chicago Police Departments systematic failure to register sex offenders. The offenders trying to follow the law are turned away from police headquarters. The department refuses to register them because they don’t have enough staff to handle the volume of offenders. The offenders are then vulnerable to arrest for ‘failure to register.’ The arresting agency is the Chicago police department, the agency responsible for their failure to register.