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.
The Comments Below are CLOSED, as we are moving to the OUR BELOVED DUCKS Forum!
Comments below articles are now closed as we have moved all conversation over to the free Our Beloved Ducks Forum. It has been a big success already with many more posts than what we could fit into the comments below articles.
The Our Beloved Ducks Forum 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.
Be a part of the forum and stay caught up! When you wish to post there, do know that you are protected just as you were on FishDuck. Join us on the free forum right here!
Our 33 rules at the free OBD Forum can be summarized to this: 1) be polite and respectful, 2) keep it clean, and 3) no reference of any kind to politics. Easy-peasy!
OBD Forum members….we got your back. No Trolls Allowed!