sexual assault victims

Western Kentucky University has filed a lawsuit against its student newspaper, arguing that the school is not required to release records related to sexual misconduct by university employees.

The WKU lawsuit against the College Heights Herald comes after a decision by Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear in January that the university is required to release Title IX records about investigations of sexual harassment by employees. The names and any other personal identifiers were to be redacted.

The lawsuit was filed in Warren Circuit Court by Kerrick Bachert, the law firm representing the university.

Michael Abate of the law firm Kaplan and Partners is representing the College Heights Herald.

“We think here in this in this case that the paper was absolutely entitled to receive these documents," Abate said. "And we think it’s incredibly unfortunate that it has come to a point where the university is suing its own student paper over conducting important and essential journalism meant to protect the students.”

Bill Would Prevent Gag Orders Against Juvenile Sexual Assault Victims in Kentucky

Feb 28, 2013

In the wake of the high-profile Savannah Dietrich court case, a bill in the Kentucky House would prevent judges from issuing gag orders against sexual assault victims undergoing trial in juvenile court.

If approved, House Bill 115 would allow juvenile crime victims to speak freely about their cases, said state Rep. Keith Bratcher, a Louisville Republican.

Dietrich's name was not spoken at any point during the bill's hearing. But Bratcher said he filed the bill after her case drew national attention—and criticism— last year. A judge threatened Dietrich with contempt after tweeting the names of two boys who'd pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting her, and information about their plea deal.

The plea deal stipulated that Dietrich couldn't speak publicly about the case.