- Associated Press - Monday, December 8, 2014

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - A judge in New Orleans has refused to block a news outlet from reporting on a police document about a rape case.

State District Judge Kern Reese on Monday refused the city’s request for an injunction against Nola.com-The Times-Picayune.

The case involved a Texas woman who said she was raped by a hotel security guard during Mardi Gras. She also said an investigator whom she described as “rude and hostile” closed the case after wrongly determining the sex was consensual.

Nola.com reported on the document last month, saying it had inconsistencies in the woman’s account.

The woman’s name has not been made public.

The investigator is one of five now under investigation after New Orleans’ inspector general said more than 1,000 sex crimes and child abuse cases were mishandled between 2011 and 2013.

Although he refused to block stories on the police report, Reese ordered Nola.com-The Times-Picayune not to report the woman’s identity. The news outlet contacted the woman and her attorney, Gloria Allred, for comment after it received a copy of the report, which included the victim’s name, from an unidentified source. But it has not made the victim’s name public.

“While we disagree with that aspect of the judge’s ruling under constitutional law, it is our practice not to name victims of sex crimes and we have not named the woman in this case,” Jim Amoss, editor of Nola.com-The Times-Picayune, said Monday in an online story about the case (https://bit.ly/1sdkUaM).

Police spokesman Tyler Gamble said the department’s Public Integrity Bureau is investigating how the report was released. “We will not tolerate the release of evidence to the media involving an ongoing investigation,” he said in an email.

Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s spokeswoman, Garnesha Crawford, said the city was disappointed that the media was not barred from contacting the alleged victim or witnesses listed in the report. “In order to protect the integrity of an investigation and to protect the privacy of victims, it is important to maintain confidentiality of facts related to ongoing criminal investigations, particularly with sex crimes that under Louisiana law are given a higher level of protection when it comes to disclosure or records,” her emailed statement said. She did not say whether there would be an appeal.

Allred held a news conference with the alleged victim last month. The woman allowed herself to be photographed and recorded but her name was not made public.

Allred spoke with reporters after Reese ruled Monday. “The fact that a confidential police supplemental report was provided to a reporter in what appears to many to be a self-serving attempt to justify law enforcement’s mishandling of my client’s allegations of rape is one more strike against the New Orleans Police Department,” she said.

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times is switching its third-party commenting system from Disqus to Spot.IM. You will need to either create an account with Spot.im or if you wish to use your Disqus account look under the Conversation for the link "Have a Disqus Account?". Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide