sexual assault

Dr. Phil Kinsey, director of the Montana State Crime Lab, explains rape kit testing protocols to the task force.
Mara Silvers

Montana is getting a $2 million federal grant to help clear its backlog of so-called rape kits.

Attorney General Tim Fox made the announcement today. He says it will allow the state crime lab to process 1,100 boxes of evidence in sexual assault cases dating back to 1995. Testing the kits could result in suspects being identified in some unsolved rape cases.

Tom Crady, University of Montana vice president for enrollment management and student affairs, at a press conference announcing enrollment numbers at UM, September 23, 2016.
Eric Whitney

The University of Montana’s new Vice President for Enrollment Tom Crady announced the preliminary headcount for school this fall today.

"The bottom line is, we’re down."

Mike Albans

When the U.S. Department of Justice started looking into how sexual assault cases were handled in Missoula in 2012, they found a lot of problems. That led the Department to try to establish oversight of the Missoula County Prosecutor’s office.

Montana Attorney General Tim Fox ended up taking on that role. Yesterday, he said that his office’s oversight spelled out in a special legal agreement is no longer required.

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

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.

Montana Capitol
William Marcus

Montana legislators are considering overhauling Montana’s sexual assault laws during the next legislative session. On Tuesday, Montana lawmakers reviewed potential bills that could change the legal definition of rape, revise the mandatory minimum sentences  for rape, and rework laws regarding the penalty for the distribution of sexual images or recordings.

In 2013, the City of Missoula signed an agreement with the Justice Department to improve its policies and practices related to sexual assault prosecutions.
Cheri Trusler

Tell me about your last sexual encounter, describe it in detail, and if you could, please recall it all in chronological order.

William Marcus

Prosecutors and victims advocates today agreed that Montana needs to change its legal definition of rape. They spoke at a task force meeting on sexual assault called by the Montana Attorney General’s office at Carroll College.

Montana Capitol
William Marcus

Montana lawmakers are considering a change to the state’s rape law. A draft bill would update the definition of “consent” in cases of sexual assault. Current law defines the term ‘without consent’ but leaves the word ‘consent’ mostly undefined.

Members of the Sexual Assault Evidence Kit task force met for the first time Tuesday at the capitol.
William Marcus

Attorney General Tim Fox said Tuesday there are 1,400 untested sexual assault evidence kits sitting in law enforcement refrigerators around Montana. The announcement came as a special task force Fox appointed last fall met for the first time at the capitol. 

The Sexual Assault Evidence Task Force was established by Montana Attorney General Tim Fox in November to review how the evidence kits are handled around the state and how many of them have gone untested.
Corin Cates-Carney

On Tuesday, Montana’s new Sexual Assault Evidence Task Force meets to talk about so-called “rape kits.” Those are boxes of evidence gathered from sexual assault victims to potentially be used in prosecuting their attackers.