Records from 2007 Assault at Univ. of Iowa to be Kept Confidential
By Vanessa Miller, Reporter
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The University of Iowa will not have to release additional documents related to the 2007 arrests of two Iowa football players accused of sexual assault after the Iowa Court of Appeals on Friday issued its ruling siding with university interpretations of privacy laws.
The Court of Appeals in its Friday ruling reversed an earlier district court order directing the UI to produce documents requested by the Iowa City Press-Citizen. The UI, after that earlier decision, requested a stay on the order to release the records so officials could appeal the decision.
The Press-Citizen argued that the Iowa Open Records Act required the documents at issue to be made public. The UI argued that the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act requires some records, namely the ones at issue in this case, to be kept confidential.
Although the Court of Appeals sided with the UI in its request to keep its documents confidential, it did not remand the district court’s decision to award the Press-Citizen $30,500 in attorney’s fees because the university did not challenge that part of the district court order.
The incident that led to the lawsuit was the 2007 arrests of two UI football players accused of sexually assaulting another student in a campus dorm room. Following a criminal investigation and criminal charges, one player was convicted of assault with intent to inflict serious injury, and the other student was convicted with simple assault.
The incident also led to internal actions and responses by UI officials, external criticism of the UI and a special counsel investigation and report.
Three Court of Appeals justices dissented in the decision, stating they believe the records should have been disclosed in this case.
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