Sexual Assault

The University of Wyoming is the latest college to launch a new app aimed at preventing sexual assault. 

Montana’s backlogged sexual assault evidence kits will undergo lab testing beginning this month. Last fall, the state got a $2 million federal grant to fund cataloging and testing of the unsubmitted so-called rape kits. 

Attorney General Tim Fox joined Governor Steve Bullock in Missoula today for a ceremony to sign six bills updating Montana’s sexual assault laws.

They posed with Missoula Democratic Senator Diane Sands, who carried two of the bills, the most prominent of which removes force from the definition of sexual assault.

(Flickr/Wolfran Burner)(https://flic.kr/p/niZoDm)

Governor Steve Bullock signed into law a bill that updates Montana’s sexual assault laws by revising the definition of consent.


Courtesy Sen. Steve Daines
Courtesy Sen. Steve Daines

U.S. Justice Department data shows Native women are 10 times as likely to be murdered as other Americans. They’re four times as likely to be raped or sexually assaulted. Yellowstone Public Radio's Brie Ripley and Montana Public Radio's Edward O'Brien report. 

(Left, © AP; right, Penguin & Random House)

The Billings Gazette reports that over the last five years, Yellowstone County, the largest county in the state, prosecuted only about 15% of adult rape cases. And last year, there were precisely zero prosecutions out of the 60 rape cases reported in the county.

Jon Krakauer is the author of the bestselling book Missoula: Rape and the Justice System In a College Town which, explores a spate of unprosecuted sexual assaults in one of Montana's largest cities between 2008-2012.

Krakauer spoke with YPR's Brie Ripley about why Yellowstone County needs a Department of Justice intervention.

Jackie Yamanaka

The Montana Senate gave preliminary approval to a bill that seeks to give judges and prosecutors more discretion in sentencing cases that involve sexual relations between teenagers.