The Latest: Montana argues to keep rape case records sealed
BOZEMAN, Mont. (AP) The Latest on author Jon Krakauer's lawsuit over release of records on University of Montana rape case (all times local):
An attorney for Montana's university system says the release of records about a rape case to ''Into the Wild'' author Jon Krakauer could prevent other students from coming forward as witnesses in the future disciplinary proceedings.
Attorney Viv Hammill made her argument Wednesday before the Montana Supreme Court, which met in a packed auditorium at Montana State University in Bozeman.
Hammill says it is important to keep student disciplinary proceedings confidential because students might not come forward if they believe they risk being publicly identified.
Krakauer is seeking records that explain how a University of Montana decision to expel former quarterback Jordan Johnson was reversed after it reached Commissioner of Higher Education Clay Christian.
Johnson remained in school and was acquitted in 2012 of charges that he raped another student.
Montana's higher education commissioner is asking the Montana Supreme Court to deny ''Into the Wild'' author Jon Krakauer documents that could show whether the commissioner reversed a decision to expel a University of Montana quarterback accused of rape.
The court takes up the case Wednesday in Bozeman, after a Helena judge ruled Krakauer is entitled to the documents under Montana's public-records laws. Krakauer had sought the records for his 2015 book ''Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town.''
Commissioner Clayton Christian is appealing that ruling, saying the federal Family Education Rights and Privacy Act prohibits his office from releasing confidential criminal justice information.
Christian's attorneys say releasing the documents could jeopardize federal funding and that Krakauer has no rights under Montana's public-records laws because he is a Colorado citizen.
Krakauer told The Associated Press Tuesday that he hopes the outcome of the case will increase transparency on how universities deal with rape.