No decision yet in case involving former student suing LSU
BATON ROUGE – There was no ruling Monday in a case involving a former LSU student who sued the University. Samantha Brennan recently requested the police report she filed back in 2016 that claimed former LSU football star Derrius Guice shared a nude photo of her without her consent. Brennan got the report, but it was redacted.
Brennan’s, Guice’s and a witness's name were all blacked out. All three were LSU students at the time.
“Remember the other people in that report had no idea that she included their names. There was an accused and there was a witness, and so you’re releasing the names of folks who have no idea their name is in a police report. And there is some privacy interest in that,” said Winston DeCuir Jr., the vice president of Legal Affairs and General Counsel at LSU.
DeCuir argued Monday that the university has an obligation to protect the privacy of students. However, Samantha Brennan’s attorney Scott Sternberg says everyone is not treated the same in privacy litigation.
“I don’t think the accused has any right to privacy in his name, everyone here knows what his name is and I don’t think Brennan does either. She has been public in a national newspaper in this exact incident. So the right to privacy rings hollow to me,” Sternberg said.
Brennan shared her story in a USA Today article that claims LSU had been mishandling sexual misconduct complaints.
During the hearing, LSU attorneys also pointed out that the statute of limitations to charge Guice in a possible video voyeurism case has yet to expire, so releasing the names could interfere with a potential future investigation.
“Our police department has a concern about spoliation of evidence and continuing investigations. People would have reservations about talking to the police if simply talking to them means your name was going to become public, or part of a public records request,” DeCuir said. “Police fear it would make investigating future crimes really difficult.”
Joining the hearing via Zoom, Brennan said she does not have any plans to purse a criminal charge against Guice but says she has a right to the full police report.
“She just feels like she didn’t get justice even though she got the records, which is what we sued for, and we got them,” Sternberg said. “She wants the full array of justice and I think that’s what this is about. The judge may not agree with us, the judge may say we don’t get the report without anything redacted. That’s entirely possible. But I do know that we sued, we got the records, and I’m very comfortable in the way we have conducted ourselves in this case.”
Sternberg feels they are also entitled to attorney fees and costs.
Both sides have one week to send Judge Janice Clark briefs before she comes to a decision in the case.
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