BOZEMAN — Within her first month in office, Gallatin County Attorney Audrey Cromwell says she discovered boxes of unprosecuted sexually violent crime investigations and has created a joint task force to address the issue.
According to a Gallatin County press release, the boxes contained 113 unreviewed requests for prosecution, or RFPs. The cases span from 2008 to 2022 and range from violent rape cases to domestic violence, incest, and sexual abuse against children.
Out of the 113 files, 52 involved sexual violence against children.
A Joint Task Force including law enforcement, attorneys, Cromwell, and victim services was created to go through the 113 files to determine if any are viable for prosecution.
“These are victims, these are members of our community, and these are offenders that have not been held accountable for the violent crime that they’ve committed,” Cromwell said.
The press release notes that when an RFP is submitted to the County Attorney’s Office, a prosecutor is to "promptly" review and determine the course of action.
“None of these cases have been opened,” Cromwell said.
Stacy Wesen, Director of Gallatin County Victim Services, says that a part of their job is to keep families and victims up-to-date on cases.
“We’re waiting for the county attorney to make a charging decision and then updating the family at that point,” Wesen said. “Unfortunately in these cases, it’s possible that we haven’t had a lot of contact because we haven’t had updates to provide to the family.”
Former Gallatin County Attorney Marty Lambert said that while he was in office his office "aggresively" prosecuted sex crimes, and you "prosecute the best you can," and that's what he did.