Posted: May 1, 2012 8:56 AM by Mike Powers- KPAX News
Updated: May 1, 2012 9:00 AM
The United States Department of Justice is opening an investigation into the handling of alleged sexual assaults involving students at the University of Montana in Missoula.
Montana's News Station has learned that a news conference will be held in Missoula on Tuesday afternoon involving the civil rights division of the Justice Department.
University of Montana President Royce Engstrom says DOJ officials met with him for about 30 minutes on Monday to tell him about the investigation.
He says they told him it involves a review of the University of Montana, the Missoula Police Department and the Missoula County Attorney's office.
"We'll cooperate fully with them and learn everything we can from their investigation so that we can continue to improve the safety of our campus," Engstrom said.
A complaint accusing the University of Montana of harassment in relation to the alleged assaults was filed with the Justice Department earlier this year.
That harassment complaint followed a university investigation headed by former state Montana Supreme Court Justice Diane Barz.
Her report documented nine student-related instances of alleged sexual assault or attempted sexual assault since late 2010. It also outlined flaws in how UM handled the alleged assaults.