An attorney for Montana's university system says the release of records about a rape case to "Into the Wild" author Jon Krakauer, of Boulder, Colo., could prevent other students from coming forward as witnesses in the future disciplinary proceedings.
Attorney Viv Hammill made her argument Wednesday before the Montana Supreme Court, which met in a packed auditorium at Montana State University in Bozeman.
Montana's higher education commissioner is asking the court to deny Krakauer documents, which could show whether the commissioner reversed a decision to expel a University of Montana quarterback accused of rape.
A Helena judge ruled Krakauer is entitled to the documents under Montana's public-records laws. Krakauer had sought the records for his 2015 book "Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town."
Commissioner Clayton Christian says the federal Family Education Rights and Privacy Act prohibits his office from releasing confidential criminal justice information.
Christian's attorneys also say releasing the documents could jeopardize federal funding and that Krakauer has no rights under Montana's public-records laws because he is a Colorado citizen.
Krakauer told The Associated Press Tuesday that he hopes the outcome of the case will increase transparency on how universities deal with rape.
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