The News Sentinel Editorial Board published an editorial today that begins:
A bill that would ostensibly protect the privacy of sexual assault victims in Tennessee would actually endanger criminal prosecutions and do nothing to lessen the anguish of the people it purports to help.
The legislation, introduced in the Senate by Knoxville Republican Becky Duncan Massey at the request of Metro Nashville government, would make all records containing virtually any information about a sexual assault victim confidential.
“No portion of any report, paper, picture, photograph, video, court file, or other document in the custody or possession of any public officer or employee which identifies an alleged victim of a sexual offense shall be made available for public inspection or copying,” the bill reads.
The bill’s scope is so broad that the members of the public would be kept ignorant of crimes committed in their communities and fair trials for the accused could be jeopardized. Neither situation helps victims.
Read more on KnoxNews.com.