MTPR

Attorney General Praises Missoula County's Improvements In Handling Of Sexual Assault Cases

Aug 17, 2016

Attorney General Tim Fox says the Missoula County Attorney's Office is now in full compliance with a 2014 agreement to improve its handling of sexual assault cases.

A 2012 federal investigation found sexual assaults were a low priority in the county attorney's office, and that county prosecutors lacked the training to investigate and prosecute such cases. It also found that victims of rape by acquaintances were often treated with disrespect.

Attorney General Tim Fox:

"There are some who would say, you know, we wish they hadn’t come here, but I think ultimately a lot of good has come out of this. The county attorney’s office has become a model for the nation, and I think the University of Montana, the Missoula Police Department and City of Missoula and County of Missoula have become a positive model for what a community can do."

Over the past two years, the county attorney's office has created a special victims unit, and been trained to better investigate and prosecute sexual assault cases, and to treat victims better.

Police at the University of Montana and City of Missoula have also been praised for improving their handling of sexual assault cases under agreements with the U.S. Department of Justice.