Dietrich seeks to seal files in sexual assault case

Hours after the Dietrich School District’s internal investigation in a student sexual assault case went public, the district was in court taking legal steps to try to seal the document.

The Twin Falls Times-News reported Tuesday on the internal document, which said it was “more likely than not” that several Dietrich High School football players sexually assaulted a black, mentally disabled teammate after a practice in October 2015.

On Thursday, the Twin Falls Times-News also reported on the motion to seal the files. This motion was filed Tuesday.

Brian Julian, an attorney representing the district, argued for sealing the files. According to the Times-News, Julian said the need to seal the document “is especially acute given the fact that the local news outlets repeatedly and routinely report on issues related to this litigation.”

Julian insinuated that opposing counsel tipped the newspaper off to the document. The Times-News reported that it discovered the file during a routine check on the status of the case.

The district faces a $10 million civil lawsuit stemming from the alleged attack. Plaintiffs say district officials knew — or should have known — about an escalating pattern of abuse directed at the alleged victim.

Three former teammates face criminal charges in the grisly case, but only one defendant faces felony charges. The other defendants face charges in juvenile court.

Kevin Richert

Kevin Richert

Senior reporter and blogger Kevin Richert specializes in education politics and education policy. He has more than 30 years of experience in Idaho journalism. He is a frequent guest on "Idaho Reports" on Idaho Public Television and "Idaho Matters" on Boise State Public Radio. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinRichert. He can be reached at [email protected]

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