Knoxville News Sentinel files lawsuit to unseal UT rape documents
By Dustin Dopirak, Knoxville News Sentinel
Former Tennessee football players A.J. Johnson, center, and Michael Williams appear for a motion hearing social media requests in 2015. The two are accused of raping a UT female athlete in 2014. (AMY SMOTHERMAN BURGESS/NEWS SENTINEL)
KNOXVILLE (News Sentinel) -
The News Sentinel filed a lawsuit Friday asking a judge to unseal evidence in the aggravated rape cases against former Tennessee football players A.J. Johnson and Michael Williams.
The newspaper is seeking access to evidence including but not limited to search warrant applications for Johnson's apartment and DNA samples for Johnson and Williams as well as audio files and transcripts of Knoxville Police Department interviews with the alleged victim and other witnesses in the case.
The News Sentinel argues that the records and exhibits were sealed by Criminal Court Judge Bob McGee without any petition or order to do so.
"We have been asking for more than a year to inspect the records in this case, a right of citizens guaranteed by the constitutions of the United States and Tennessee," Managing Editor Tom Chester said.