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New Bedford Sex Crime Prosecutions May Increase as a Result of Federal Probe

New Bedford sex crimes defense attorneys know that an allegation of such an offense can have major implications for the accused.

This is especially true for college students charged with a New Bedford sex crime. With an entire future ahead of him, college students must find an experienced and knowledgeable defense attorney, whether the charge is date rape, statutory rape, sexual battery or other sex offense.

In a lot of Massachusetts sex crimes that allegedly occur on campus, victims will report those allegations to university police. There is supposed to be specific protocol in place for how such cases should be handled, although there have been some high-profile instances in recent years in which top university brass have come under fire for attempting to sweep such situations under the rug. These institutions don’t want to gain a reputation as being unsafe for students.

But now, a U.S. Justice Department probe in Montana may have implications for reversing that trend. While it’s important for our universities to provide a safe learning environment, false or unsubstantiated claims could be aggressively pursued, which in turn could lead to unfair charges.

Here’s what we know so far of the situation in Montana, as reported by CNN:

At the University of Montana, there have been at least 11 allegations of student-involved sexual assault over the last year-and-a-half, and 80 sexual assaults in the city over the last three years. Two of those involved football players. One involved an alleged gang rape and the drugging of a student by several others.

A spokeswoman with the Justice Department says the probe was kick-started by allegations that the criminal investigations into those matters was lacking due to gender bias. The Justice Department’s focus reportedly has to do with not the number of complaints, but rather how the university handled them. Basically, some are saying that prosecutors and the university didn’t fully press the criminal investigations because of general attitudes that tended to favor the accused, rather than the victims. Both the university and the district attorney deny this.

As part of the investigation, it seems likely that the federal agency will be looking at how crimes were reported and to whom, and what communication those agencies had amongst one another in the wake of the allegations.

It’s not clear from CNN’s report how many of those allegations resulted in criminal charges.

Under Massachusetts General Law, Justice Department investigates handling of rape allegations in Montana, By Moni Basu and Lateef Mungin, CNN

More Blog Entries:
Boston Sex Crimes Watch: Military Members Accused, April 27, 2012, Massachusetts Sex Crimes Defense Lawyer Blog

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