University of Montana officials continue to actively pursue an investigation into allegations of sexual assault that may involve a date rape on campus and will provide periodic updates on the matter.
UM President Royce C. Engstrom said the University will adhere to guidelines issued last spring by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights in regards to the allegations.
The University has hired former District and Montana Supreme Court Judge Diane Barz to accelerate and assist with the investigation. Barz began the investigation Dec. 15 and is being assisted by Lucy France, director of UM’s Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Office, and Charles Couture, UM dean of students.
The team is investigating possible sexual harassment, including sexual violence, to determine what occurred and then take immediate action to resolve the situation. The investigation will be completed by the end of the month.
“We are committed to resolving this as quickly as possible,” Engstrom said. “We will continue to use the UM Student Code of Conduct and federal Title IX laws as our guides.
“We will also continue to maintain the confidentiality of all student witnesses and suspects involved,” Engstrom said. “At this time, we do not have specific evidence implicating anyone. When we do, we will take immediate action under the University Student Code of Conduct.”
Engstrom also said the University will continue to cooperate fully with the Missoula Police Department to move any possible criminal investigation forward.