The Lane County District Attorney rejected two newspapers’ appeal for the University of Oregon to disclose public records from the sexual assault case involving three former Oregon men’s basketball players: Damyean Dotson, Dominic Artis and Brandon Austin. One newspaper, The Register-Guard, will sue the UO in Lane County Circuit Court as a result.
“The rejection of our appeal leaves us with no option but to file a lawsuit against the university,” Register-Guard general counsel Wendy Baker said in the paper Tuesday. “Oregon Public Records law exists to preclude this kind of secrecy among our public servants.”
The other newspaper involved in the joint appeal, The Oregonian, is considering its options, according to its managing editor, Therese Bottomly.
The joint appeal came in response to hundreds of heavily redacted records released to multiple news outlets, including The Emerald.
On May 9, The Oregonian requested ”any emails, text messages or electronic or print records written or received by Oregon president Michael Gottfredson and Oregon athletics director Rob Mullens between March 8 to the present regarding sexual assault allegations against Oregon basketball players.”
The Register-Guard sought similar types of records from Gottredson and Mullens, along with head men’s basketball coach Dana Altman with regards to the alleged sexual assault in March involving Dotson, Artis and Austin. The Register-Guard also requested communications involving a UO athletic department employee named “Cassie,” who the alleged survivor referred to in the Eugene police report from the case.
Those records couldn’t be disclosed under The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) because they involved UO students, according to the UO. In their opinion released Monday, District Attorney Alex Gardner and Chief Deputy District Attorney Patricia Perlow sided with the UO.
KATU-TV and The New York Times also appealed the UO’s redacted records. KATU requested to be added to The Register-Guard and Oregonian’s appeal and was also denied.
None of the three former players were charged with a crime, due to what Gardner cited as a lack of evidence. However, the players were dismissed from the team and suspended from the university in the subsequent months.
Follow Victor Flores on Twitter @vflores415
Victor is a senior at the University of Oregon, majoring in journalism and minoring in psychology. Victor was born and raised in San Francisco, CA. He is a fan of the San Francisco Giants, San Francisco 49ers, and Golden State Warriors and has naturally fallen in love with the Ducks since he became a UO student. He currently works for the UO campus radio station 88.1 KWVA as a news and sports contributor and hopes to one day become a professional sports reporter. While he loves several sports, baseball has always been his greatest passion.
New 2024 FishDuck Publishing Schedule….
During the off-season the FishDuck.com publishing schedule will consist of articles on Mondays and Tuesdays. Do keep checking as new articles could be published during the week when a writer has something to say.
In mid-August of 2024, we will go back to the seven-days-a-week of articles during the football season as we did in the football season of 2023.
The Our Beloved Ducks Forum (OBD) is where we we discuss the article above and many more topics, as it is so much easier in a message board format over there. At the free OBD forum we will be posting Oregon Sports article links, the daily Press Releases from the Athletic Department and the news coming out every day.
Our 33 rules at the free OBD Forum can be summarized to this: 1) be polite and respectful, 2) do not tell anyone what to think, feel or write, and 3) no reference of any kind to politics. Easy-peasy!
OBD Forum members….we got your back. No Trolls Allowed!