The Federal Government has unveiled new details about its civil rights investigation into Missoula police, prosecutors and the University of Montana.
Department of Justice is investigating whether Missoula Police, prosecutors and University of Montana officials mishandled sex assault and harassment complaints because of gender bias.
The federal investigation is two-pronged. One is focused on the University of Montana. Officials say there have seen at least 11 reported sexual assaults involving students within an 18-month period.
The second investigation will determine whether University and Missoula Police and the Missoula County Prosecutor's Office didn't adequately investigate and prosecute sex assaults because of a bias against women.
NBC Montana reporters attended a news conference with top-level US Attorneys from the department's civil rights department, Montana's US Attorney, Missoula's Mayor, Police Chief and the President of the University of Montana.
The Justice Department reports over 80 alleged rapes in Missoula over the last three years, with at least 11 in an 18-month period involving University of Montana students.
"The allegations that the University of Montana, the local police department and the County Attorney's Office failed to adequately address sexual assaults are very disturbing," said Attorney General Eric Holder.
Missoula County Attorney Fred Van Valkenburg is angry at the accusations.
?I have no reason to believe that in particular the Missoula Police Department, has in any way violated anyone?s constitutional rights,? said Van Valkenburg.
The Department of Justice said Van Valkenburg could be right, but they won?t decide until the investigation is complete.
Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez did not give an outline for the investigations, but said he?ll keep Missoula officials and the public informed.
Officials say the federal investigation will look at sexual assaults alleged by all women in Missoula, not just students.
The Justice Department also says its Civil Rights team has uncovered patterns of gender discrimination in the New Orleans Police Department as well as two others.