PHOENIX — As Maricopa County Attorney Allister Adel prepares to leave her office, the alleged victims of 180 criminal cases still find themselves looking for justice.
ABC15 spoke with two people, part of the same case, related to criminal damage. They say they received an apology over the phone from the Maricopa County Attorney's Office after the case was dropped, but, believe that apology isn't enough.
"Next thing I know, just broken glass everywhere on the inside," says Edwin Gondouin, whose case was dropped.
Edwin Gondouin made a report in November 2020 after he says his car was smashed in. A woman he was with, also an alleged victim in the case, spoke with ABC15 but wishes we not show her face.
“We called the police immediately, they responded, they investigated, they patrolled my home, they helped me to feel safe. That safety is gone now,” says the other victim.
The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office confirmed that deputies responded to that call of criminal damage in a Mesa neighborhood. That case was later dropped, along with 179 others.
"As a direct result, there's criminals on the street today that may have been incarcerated because of their actions,” says the victim.
Maricopa County prosecutors announced the mishandling last week due to charges not being filed on time. The cases were all misdemeanors from 2020.
"I’ve lived in fear for the last two years but, I also was under the assumption that my case was being handled,” says the woman.
The woman is now hoping to find a lawyer willing to represent all the victims from the 180 cases and she's encouraging others to speak out.
"Even the prosecutor last month, that called and apologized, told me that after reading the police report... this was a case that 100% should have been prosecuted,” says the woman.
Statement from the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office:
"As part of our review of cases that expired their statute of limitations, our prosecutor has had the opportunity to speak to the victims in this specific case. He reached out to the victims in early February and apologized on behalf of the office for not having the case reviewed. A disposition letter was also sent to the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office explaining the situation in this case."