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Montana county complying with agreement over sexual assault prosecutions

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MISSOULA, Montana — A Montana county attorney's office is complying with provisions of an agreement with the Department of Justice over how it should handle the investigation and prosecution of sexual assault cases.

Attorney General Tim Fox and Missoula County Attorney Kirsten Pabst announced Tuesday that the county is meeting the requirements of a June 2014 agreement that ended a federal investigation into whether gender bias played a role in deciding whether to prosecute rape cases.

Pabst says the county attorney's office has developed a sexual assault policy, increased staff training, designated special prosecutors for sexual assault cases and is treating assault victims better, including better tracking their cases.

The Department of Justice began its investigation in May 2012 after receiving complaints about the way officials handled rapes reported by University of Montana students. An investigation turned up similar complaints from other victims.

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