Justice Department reviews handling of over 80 rape reports in Montana

Reuters News
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Posted: May 01, 2012 5:39 PM

MISSOULA, Montana (Reuters) - The Justice Department unveiled a broad probe on Tuesday into complaints that authorities were failing to aggressively investigate sexual assault reports in Missoula, Montana, citing more than 80 alleged rapes during the past three years.

The investigation includes a review of the handling of sexual assault and sexual harassment reports at the Missoula-based University of Montana campus, where at least 11 student-related sex assault cases have surfaced in recent months.

Missoula County's chief prosecutor defended his office and the local police department, calling the inquiry an unprecedented "overreach by the federal government."

(Reporting by Laura Zuckerman; Writing by Steve Gorman; Editing by Cynthia Johnston)