Recent content from MaryJo Webster
Inadequate training for police who investigate sexual assaults, along with poor staffing and high turnover, plagues many police departments across the state – resulting in fewer charges against suspected offenders.
Police are less likely to interview witnesses, assign cases to a detective or forward them to a prosecutor if the victim was drinking, according to a Star Tribune analysis. When cases involving alcohol do reach prosecutors, suspects are much less likely to be charged with a crime or convicted.
A Star Tribune examination of more than 1,000 recent sexual assault cases shows pervasive failings by law enforcement — neglecting to interview witnesses, collect crucial evidence, or conduct criminal background checks on suspects. Many cases were never even assigned to an investigator.
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As dozens more women have stepped forward to tell their stories, reforms are underway in Minnesota. Victim advocates and rape survivors say they are heartened by the pledges of reform by police leaders, prosecutors and lawmakers.
Utah's shift is a promising sign of how a state can do more to help rape victims get the justice that so often eludes them — if everyone involved is working with the same priorities.
Felons spend less time in prison in Minnesota, and the state says that's by design.
Minnesota's student body is rapidly becoming more diverse, while the teaching force remains mostly white.
Many sexual assault reports in Minnesota are poorly investigated. Most don't result in charges or convictions. This one was different.
In Minnesota, half of sex assault cases police send to prosecutors never result in charges. Prosecutors reject cases that include DNA evidence, witnesses, and sometimes even confessions, records show.