Oregon passes confidentiality law in wake of Ducks rape scandal
The state of Oregon has passed stronger confidentiality laws after the University of Oregon released therapy records of a woman who says she was raped by three members of the Ducks basketball team, according to The Oregonian.
Governor Kate Brown signed the bill into law Wednesday after no members of the state's legislature voted against it.
In December 2014, employees at the school's counseling center released the woman's entire case file to the school's legal office without her consent. Under the new law, conversations between alleged rape victims and counselors are confidential, “with only a couple of narrow exceptions, including a patient's consent,” The Oregonian explains.
“We can't promise that it would never happen again,” Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum said, according to The Oregonian. “But if there were communications between victims' advocates who were certified under our program, certainly those kinds of communications would not and should not under any circumstances be released.”
The woman sued the university in January for acquiring the records without her consent. She also claimed head coach Dana Altman knew that Brandon Austin, one of the players accused, had previously been accused of sexual assault while he played for Providence and continued recruiting him anyway. The suit also alleges the school did not immediately discipline the players—Austin, Dominic Artis and Damyean Dotson—because it would have adversely affected the team's performance. All three players were eventually suspended and transferred to other schools.
- Dan Gartland