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Accused child molester not arrested because Detroit investigator went on vacation

Posted at 4:35 PM, Feb 07, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-07 18:26:24-05

DETROIT (WXYZ) — Police say a suspected child molester was supposed to have been behind bars, but instead remained free because their investigator went on vacation.

On Wednesday night, Darrell Lee Harris, 50, was arrested, and on Thursday afternoon he was arraigned on two counts criminal sexual conduct in the first degree for allegedly raping his ex-girlfriend's underage daughter on two separate occasions.

Harris is accused of raping Erica Underwood’s daughter while they were still in a relationship.

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy announced the charges against Harris on Thursday. According to a release, he allegedly sexually assaulted Underwood's 11-year-old daughter in July and again in August 2018. The alleged assault occurred in the 5500 block of Coplin in Detroit.

On Dec. 1, 2018, the victim's mother found evidence of Harris' alleged sexual abuse and reported it to police. However, when police found out a warrant was not issued for Harris’ arrest, they learned that instead the investigator went on vacation.

“I was let down, you know," Underwood said. "I have a distrust, unfortunately now, when the police... they tell me something now it’s kinda like, can I believe what they are saying?"

A spokesperson with the Detroit Police Department tells 7 Action News they will now open an internal investigation to figure out exactly what happened and why it happened. Police add that appropriate action will be taken based on the findings of the internal investigation.

Harris was officially charged on Feb. 5 with two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct. He was taken into custody by Detroit police on Feb. 6 and arraigned on Feb. 7 in 36th District Court. He received a $150,000 cash surety bond.

Harris' next court hearing is scheduled for Feb. 27 at 9 a.m.