DIETRICH, Idaho — An attorney for a southern Idaho school district wants court documents to be sealed in a lawsuit from the family of a black football player who says he was sexually assaulted by three teammates last year.
A Tuesday article in the Times-News of Twin Falls (http://bit.ly/2cEh0Lk ) that detailed the school’s investigation into the allegations shows why the records should be kept secret, said Brian Julian, representing the Dietrich School District.
He said the need “is especially acute given the fact that the local news outlets repeatedly and routinely report on issues related to this litigation.”
The boy’s family sued for $10 million in damages, claiming the sexual assault was the culmination of months of racist taunts and physical abuse at the high school in the tiny rural town of Dietrich that is predominantly white. The school district denies the allegations.
Three football players have been charged with sexually assaulting their teammate with a clothes hanger in a locker room at Dietrich High School while pretending to give the victim a hug on Oct. 22, 2015.
After the victim’s mother reported the attack, school officials said they conducted 30 interviews with football players, coaches and parents, finding evidence of bullying, sexual harassment and sexual assault among students, the heavily redacted records said.
Julian, the attorney for the school, suggested the victim’s attorney tipped off the Times-News to the documents filed in federal court last week because of his “propensity to speak with local news media and to share with them information.”
The newspaper says it routinely checks the status of the case and discovered the documents on its own.
Information from: The Times-News, http://www.magicvalley.com