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Northwest Arkansas child abuse investigator accused of fabricating reports

by Tracy Neal | November 7, 2016 at 11:04 a.m.

BENTONVILLE — A civilian investigator with the Arkansas State Police Crimes Against Children Division is accused of fabricating reports in 43 cases in Benton and Washington counties, according to court documents.

Whitney Loren Adams, 49, was arrested Oct. 27 in connection with tampering with a public record, a Class D felony punishable with up to six years in prison. She was released from the Benton County Jail on citation.

Prosecutors have not filed a formal charge against Adams.

Bill Sadler, spokesman for the Arkansas State Police, said Adams was hired Sept. 29, 2014, by the State Police’s Crimes Against Children Division with the specific duties to investigate allegations of child maltreatment received on the state’s Child Abuse Hotline.

A supervisor for Crimes Against Children conducting a random audit in January questioned the integrity of investigative reports prepared by Adams, according to Sadler.

Adams was questioned by the commander of the Crimes Against Children Division and the department’s Office of Professional Standards on Jan. 13. She was placed on administrative leave. Adams submitted her letter of resignation a day later, according to Sadler.

The State Police reviewed the 149 cases that had been assigned to Adams, Sadler said.

Adams was assigned a case on June 21, 2015, involving a child being burned on a stove in his home, according to probable cause affidavit. Adams documented she had a “face-to-face” interview with the child, but later admitted to a state police investigator that she did not personally interview the child as stated in the original report, according to court document. A police report stated a detective with the Benton County Sheriff’s Office had made telephone contact with the child, the affidavit states.

Adams was assigned a case on Oct. 9, 2015, involving a 5-year-old boy who had been sexually assaulted when he was 3, according to the affidavit. Adams reported she met with the boy and his father in their home, according to court documents. She told the investigator she did not do any interviews with the victim, witnesses or suspects and that she did not do a “face-to face-interview,” the affidavit states.

Adams was assigned a case on Nov. 3, 2014, involving 16-year-old girl who claimed her stepfather had choked her around the neck and held her down against her will, according to court documents.

The teen later recanted the story of being choked. Adams documented in a report that all the interviews were conducted by a Rogers police officer, according to the affidavit. Police records show that only the teen was interviewed by police and Adams did not conduct any “face-to-face” interviews, according to the affidavit.

Sadler said investigators checked to confirm the safety of the children who had been the subjects of the cases assigned to Adams.

Adams’ arraignment is scheduled for 8 a.m. Dec. 5 in Benton County Circuit Court.

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