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Prosecutors are challenging a recent court order dropping a man's felony sex case for violation of his speedy trial rights.

In February, Yellowstone County District Court Judge Gregory Todd ordered a felony sexual assault charge against Chad Everett Meeks dismissed, saying his speedy trial rights had been violated.

On Tuesday, the Attorney General’s office filed a notice of appeal with the Montana Supreme Court on behalf of the Yellowstone County Attorney's Office, but no arguments have yet been made. It can take months for an opening brief to be filed.

In the lower court dismissal, the judge found that most of the delay in Meeks’ case was due to routine scheduling problems, but that the responsibility for ensuring a speedy trial ultimately rested with prosecutors, and that Meeks never waived his right to a speedy trial.

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Prosecutors had argued the delay was Meeks’ fault because he failed to provide discovery to the state, and later filed a motion to exclude certain evidence that took time to resolve.

Meeks was accused of assaulting an elementary school-aged child. 

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Justice Reporter

Justice reporter for the Billings Gazette.