University of Montana President Royce Engstrom spoke with students, who recently returned from winter break, about the progress of an investigation into alleged sexual assaults involving UM students. That probe was launched just days before winter break began.
The Missoulian’s Chelsi Moy covered the meeting:
UM has a “legal and ethical obligation” under federal Title IX laws to investigate reports of sexual assault by students, Engstrom said. The university can’t tell local law enforcement whether to launch an investigation, he said, but federal law requires UM to do its own investigation.
And Missoula Police Chief Mark Muir (above, in Michael Gallacher’s photo) told the full house attending a City Council committee meeting that his department needs to do a better job communicating with rape victims.
“We will find ways to challenge our officers to become better communicators and to learn to be more accomplished at responding rather than reacting to confrontation as they face it in the course of their investigations,” Muir said.
See Missoulian reporter Keila Szpaller’s story for statistics on the outcome of sexual assault investigations by the Missoula Police Department.