DOJ Attorneys in Missoula for Sexual Assault Probe

By Beacon Staff

MISSOULA – Justice Department investigators are in Missoula interviewing police and University of Montana officials as part of a probe into their response to sexual assaults.

Missoula police chief Mark Muir says investigators will interview police Wednesday and Thursday about 518 sexual assault reports over the past four years.

Justice attorneys interviewed UM Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Office director Lucy France for several hours on Tuesday.

The federal investigation also includes the Missoula County Attorney’s Office, though County Attorney Fred Van Valkenburg has said he would refuse to cooperate.

The Justice Department announced its investigation in May amid allegations that school and city officials mishandled sexual assault reports. Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez has said 80 rape cases in Missoula over three years would be reviewed.

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