The Star Tribune has won top honors in public service journalism from the national Society of Professional Journalists for "Denied Justice," its 2018 series on rape and sexual assault throughout Minnesota.

The Sigma Delta Chi Award will be presented at a June 21 banquet in Washington.

"Denied Justice" documented widespread failings in the investigation and prosecution of sexual assault in Minnesota, and has spurred a series of changes by police departments and county prosecutors throughout the state. Bills to change state law on sexual assault are pending at the 2019 Legislature.

To produce the series, a team of Star Tribune journalists reviewed more than 1,500 sexual assault reports from law enforcement agencies across Minnesota and analyzed how the cases were handled by police and prosecutors.

The series also presented firsthand video accounts from more than a dozen sexual assault survivors.

Jennifer Bjorhus