Report: Deficiencies in how sexual assault cases are handled in MN

A state task force studying how sexual assault cases are handled in Minnesota says there are serious shortcomings in the investigation and prosecution of the cases. 

A draft report recommending legislative reforms obtained by the Star Tribune says Minnesota suffers from "systemic and complex" deficiencies in how police and prosecutors process sexual assault cases. 

State Attorney General Lori Swanson created the task force in September following a Star Tribune investigation that found widespread lapses in how the assault cases are handled, including failures in police training and staffing. The report notes that "some sexual assault cases are not prosecuted due to inadequate investigations, misunderstandings, or lack of awareness for the role of trauma-victim survivors." 

The panel expects to release a final report with recommendations for the Legislature Dec. 18.