Today, the U.S. Department of Justice is expected to resolve its two-year investigation into the Missoula (Mont.) County Attorney's Office over alleged mishandling of sexual assault cases
In a scathing report issued earlier this year, the DOJ accused Missoula prosecutors of giving sexual assault cases their lowest priority, not because of evidentiary hurdles, but because of gender bias. According to the DOJ, one case involved a woman whose 5-year-old daughter had been sexually assaulted by an adolescent boy but was allegedly told by a prosecutor that "boys will be boys." Another alleged victim was reportedly told by prosecutors that "all you want is revenge."
The report also says that several women stated that they "would never suggest to another woman to pursue a sexual assault prosecution in Missoula." And in one startling account, the DOJ says a perpetrator was caught on a surveillance camera slipping something into a woman's drink and that the suspect later admitted that to make a woman relax, he would use Xanax. But the county attorney's office declined to pursue the case due to "lack of evidence."
But this morning's Missoulian reports that feds and the Montana attorney general will stand side by side today and announce an agreement regarding the investigation. None of those involved would reveal the details of the agreement. Missoula prosecutors had initially refused to cooperate with the investigation, arguing that the feds had no jurisdiction.