The Montana University System must now release sexual assault records to author Jon Krakauer in a long-standing legal battle, Montana District Judge Mike Menahan ruled Krakauer will have access to the majority of the documents asked for, with names redacted.
The best-selling author of Missoula is seeking access to files indicating why the state overturned a campus disciplinary board's findings in a high-profile sexual assault case involving a University of Montana athlete. But the state argues that granting Jon Krakauer's request will put the state in violation of federal privacy laws and place $263 million in federal funding at risk.
The state's appeal of an order granting author Jon Krakauer access to public records about a campus sexual assault case was filed prematurely, the Montana Supreme Court decides. The order means it will be many months before a ruling that clarifies whether FERPA, the federal student privacy law, forbids colleges from disclosing records about disciplinary appeals in rape cases.
Education Department served notice it will side with University of Montana in arguing that FERPA privacy bars disclosure of public records in the disciplinary appeal of Montana's starting quarterback
Krakauer, author of “Into the Wild” and “Under the Banner of Heaven,” is working on a book about sexual assaults at universities and was seeking information about the 2012 case involving the university’s quarterback, Jordan Johnson.