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DA’s Office Tries To Salvage Hundreds of Sex Offender Cases After Investigator’s Arrest

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — About 20 cases involving sex offenders were thrown out this month and potentially hundreds more have been compromised due to the recent arrest of an investigator with the Madison County Sheriff’s Department

The Madison County District Attorney’s office confirmed with WHNT News 19 and our news partners at The Huntsville Times/al.com Friday that the indictment of Shawn McClure, whose job was to check on all registered sex offenders in Madison County, leaves up in the air hundreds of cases involving registration violations.

McClure, a former deputy, was indicted on charges of second-degree receiving stolen property and second-degree theft.

“It is our responsibility to address criminal activity wherever it occurs,” Sheriff Blake Dorning told WHNT News 19. “It doesn’t matter where it occurs. Nobody is above the law.”

On November 5th, Investigator McClure ended his 12-year career at the Madison County Sheriff’s Office.  He handed in his resignation as an internal investigation probed into whether he had participated in any wrongdoing.

Tim Gann (file)

Tim Gann (file)

Assistant District Attorney Tim Gann says about 20 cases involving Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA) violations were no-billed by the grand jury due to McClure’s indictment and arrest on second-degree theft charges.

Gann said McClure’s arrest throws into doubt potentially hundreds of cases that are still pending, where McClure is the key witness.

“It relates directly to the indictment of Shawn McClure. He was the SORNA investigator for the Madison County Sheriff’s office,” Gann said. “All those cases he investigated, obviously we cannot call him as a witness, they are to be no-billed.”

“We have made arrangements with the sheriff’s department and their current investigator is going to reopen all those cases and take a hard look and see if we can salvage them,” Gann said. “Hopefully we’ll be able to.”

Gann said the theft charges against McClure could compromise the SORNA cases because of the nature of the alleged offenses.

“Theft charges go to credibility,” Gann said. “It goes to somebody’s truthfulness, their credibility as a witness. What will we do is go case by case. If he is an essential witness, if we can’t make the case without him, it will have to be dismissed.”

“If we can make the case without him, it’s basically a salvage operation, we will,” Gann said.

(Huntsville Times reporter Brian Lawson contributed to this report)

8 comments

  • Michael Kewl

    Tim, you have got a tough job, but you can manage to ‘salvage’ the cases!!!
    This is a prime example of why our law enforcement personnel have to be held to the highest standards for their jobs!!!
    Elected officials may pay for this with their jobs next time!

  • James Endicott

    Should never have been hired in the first place, given that registrants have an extraordinarily low rate of offending again – around 5% – contrasted with thieves at 70-78%. U.S Department of Justice research confirms that 93% of child sexual abuse is committed by family, friends and acquaintances while the public spends precious tax dollars chasing the myth that registrants are the threat. Mr. Gann ought to be spending his time protecting the community against those likely to commit another crime. The public ought to demand that these tax dollars be allocated to intervention and prevention, not prosecution. Nor should we waste more tax dollars maintaining registries so bloated that even law enforcement can’t determine where the true threat lies.

    • Valigator

      Mr. Endicott I am not sure where you get your “low recidivism” stats but your quite full of crap. California ALONE has a 64% reofend rate and that isnt even including the (failure to Register) if you want to add those it jumps to 73.9%. Try passing that RSOL aka the NEW NAMBLA propaganda off on those who dont know better.

  • Valerie Parkhurst

    Mr. Endicott I am not sure where you get your “low recidivism” stats but your quite full of crap. California ALONE has a 64% reofend rate and that isnt even including the (failure to Register) if you want to add those it jumps to 73.9%. Try passing that RSOL aka the NEW NAMBLA propaganda off on those who dont know better.

  • anonymous

    Absolutely ! I personally know of this investigator, he truly is a dirty Cop. He used his power many times to falsely accuse/arrest individuals. Not counting for using his badge and authority in situations that was unconstitutional and not in his job description. Karma is a **** . This registration is ridiculous and getting larger by the day. The laws are so difficult that the “re-offending” is because of the ridiculous rules !

  • ananymous

    I know that this dirty cop has harmed innocent people and refused to go further to clear their names. All cases within the last 12 years should get another look ESPECIALLY if the people come forward for help with their particular case. I agree with the above. It’s KARMA and this guy was bad news.

  • jamison-jones

    check huntsville police department..there is this cop who goes after men who have white women!! he’s the only one who responds to domestic violence cases on drake avenue!!!! he stops people for nothing and asks questions like ‘is this your wife’??

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