Attorney General Seeks Evidence in Missoula Sexual Assault Cases - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

Attorney General Seeks Evidence in Missoula Sexual Assault Cases

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MISSOULA -

Montana's Attorney General is getting involved in the battle between the Missoula County Attorney and the U.S. Department of Justice.

Tim Fox sent U.S. District Attorney Michael Cotter a letter on Friday, asking the U.S. Department of Justice to turn over all evidence about sexual assault cases that the agency believes were handled improperly, or not prosecuted, by the Missoula County Attorney's Office.

Fox referenced a 2012 agreement to refer any new evidence of sexual assaults that the DOJ finds to his office. As Montana's Attorney General, Fox supervises locally-elected county attorneys throughout the state.

This letter was sent one week after the DOJ issued a 20-page letter of findings to Missoula County Attorney Fred Van Valkenburg, stating the County Attorney's Office gives women's sexual assault cases low priority and victims are often treated with disrespect.

Fox did note that the DOJ's recent letter sent to the Missoula County Attorney raises public safety and policy issues implicating his responsibilities as Attorney General.

Fox said that he intended to make an independent determination as to what, if any, affirmative steps should be taken to address any issues.

A statement sent to ABC FOX Montana from a spokesperson for U.S. District Attorney Michael Cotter said, "We look forward to continuing our cooperative relationship with the state Attorney General, and we will be in touch with him soon to discuss the information that he as requested."

You can download the full letter to the US Attorney here.

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