HELENA – As expected, the state of Montana is appealing the latest rulings in the legal fight by author Jon Krakauer to win broader access to records from the University of Montana rape scandal.
Krakauer has been fighting for several years to access the full records of the 2013 investigation which formed the core of his best-selling book, "Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town." He maintains there are still unanswered questions about how UM leadership at the time handled a sexual assault investigation and the eventual expulsion of a student. Later, UM football star Jordan Johnson was tried for rape and acquitted.
In March, Judge Mike Menahan ruled the Commissioner of Higher Education should release the documents to Krakauer, saying the redactions should "effectively protect" the identities of the "John Doe" in the case, and other students that were involved.
Now, attorneys for Higher Education Commissioner Clayton are filing a formal appeal with the Montana Supreme Court asking the justices to review and overturn Menahan’s ruling. The appeal also references a second ruling Menahan made in May denying Krakauer’s request for the state to pay attorney’s fees.
The appeal isn’t subject to the mediation process.