WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Texas (FOX 7 Austin) - The Williamson County Sheriff's Office said a glitch in their records management system has affected more than 100 criminal cases.
While some of the cases had been closed, others, including a few sex crimes, were not investigated until recently because of the system error.
A commander at the sheriff's office said the glitch was discovered in April.
"I reported a sex crime case against a minor in November of 2018," said a Williamson County woman whose report was one of many lost in the system error.
She spoke to FOX 7 Austin by phone because she was too scared to go on camera.
The woman said she followed up with the sheriff’s office multiple times after making an initial report.
"I was contacted by no one," she said.
As the months passed, the teenage victim suffered even more emotional trauma.
"Immediately she went to the place of, 'I was brave and I came forward and I'm not believed, even by the police who are out here to protect me,’" said her mother.
Finally, three weeks ago, she found out why the criminal report went unanswered.
"On May 8, I received a call from a detective with Wilco and was told that he was sorry for just reaching out, but that there had been a glitch in their system and I was part of that glitch and he wanted to start the investigation process," she said.
The Williamson County Sheriff's Office said their IT department is digging into exactly how, when and why more than 100 cases were lost in the agency's Central Square Records Management System.
The reports, a commander explained, were forwarded to detectives through the system, but in many cases detectives never got them.
Meanwhile, the accused went unchecked.
"Do I believe that he's out there committing more and more crimes? Yeah, without a doubt," said the woman whose report was among the lost cases.
The sheriff's office said their IT department believes it was a system-wide error and could've affected other law enforcement agencies as well.
"How many victims are not aware that they weren't heard?" the complainant said. "Not because Wilco didn't care or didn't believe them, but that they weren't connected, they weren't contacted because of a system error."
For the victim, the pain caused by the crime committed will never fully fade, but she said there's still a chance to save others.
"Do I have faith in Williamson County? Yes, but the time is up," she said.
FOX 7 Austin reached out to the software company Central Square, but has yet to receive a response.
Williamson County Sheriff Robert Chody said he does not want to comment on the glitch until the IT department has concluded their investigation.
A commander said anyone who believes their report may have gone unanswered can call the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office’s Criminal Investigation Division at 512-943-1300.