A Missoula woman, Lin Bateman, was in the group literally standing behind County Attorney Kirsten Pabst during Wednesday's address at the county courthouse.

And, for good reason. Bateman said it was Kirsten Pabst who was responsible for her regaining her life after an incident in which a stalker placed her in fear of her safety.

"About a dozen years ago, I was the victim of a stalker, and fortunately for me, Kirsten was the prosecutor at that time who was assigned to my case, " Bateman said. "She is the reason that my life went from being terrorized on an almost daily basis, to being able to live a normal life with my husband and children."

Bateman said Pabst became a trusted friend and adviser during that time in her life.

"During that time, she led me through the process of trial, which I was very intimidated by, and inexperienced with, and was respectful, compassionate, and communicated every step of the process to me," she said. "I even called her at home twice, once at about 8 o'clock on a Sunday morning. She hadn't even gotten up yet, and yet she still spent over a half an hour just talking to me on the phone. She comforted me and told me to just tell the truth, and I will be there beside you while you do it."

Bateman had words of high praise for Pabst that she asked to share with the public.

"She has as much character, integrity, honesty and compassion as anyone I have ever known, and I am privileged to know her and I am proud to be called her friend."

Bateman was in the courtroom to support Pabst after all the negative references to her and her predecessor Fred Van Valkenburg in the Jon Krakauer book, 'Missoula; Rape and the Justice System in a College Town.'


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