- Associated Press - Friday, February 12, 2016

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - The Knoxville News Sentinel is asking a judge to unseal evidence in the cases of two former University of Tennessee football players charged with aggravated rape.

The newspaper says (http://bit.ly/20QoP3i ) it filed a lawsuit Friday seeking evidence in the cases against former players A.J. Johnson and Michael Williams. The evidence includes search warrant applications, and audio files and transcripts of Knoxville Police Department interviews with the alleged victim and other witnesses.

The newspaper says records in the case were sealed without a court hearing.

Managing editor Tom Chester said the News Sentinel had been asking for more than a year to inspect the records.

“We have been rebuffed and felt a lawsuit was our last recourse to undo these secret proceedings and to ensure that future requests to inspect records are given due process in a court hearing,” Chester said. “Justice is ill-served when observed in a rearview mirror, and we hope the judge will reverse what he’s done and unseal the records.”

Johnson and Williams are accused of raping a UT student during a party at Johnson’s apartment in November of 2014. Both are set to go to trial this summer, and both have pleaded not guilty.

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Information from: Knoxville News Sentinel, http://www.knoxnews.com

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