Bill Would Shield ID, Personal Information of Rape Victims

Proposed state legislation filed by Sen. Becky Duncan Massey, R-Knoxville, at the behest of Metro Nashville’s legal department could shield the identify and personal information of rape victims from the public, the Tennessean reports. Metro Law Director Saul Solomon said the main push for the bill is “balancing the victim’s right of privacy with the public’s right to know,” and would simply allow police and prosecutors to redact personal information. But, as written, critics say it could turn rape into an “invisible crime" and interfere with a defendant’s right to a fair trial by preventing attorneys from discussing key evidence with their clients. In an editorial, the Tennessean goes further, saying the bill is an attempt to intimidate news media organizations throughout the state as they pursue a lawsuit against Metro over its refusal to release records in the rape investigation involving former Vanderbilt University football players.