The university worries that ing the names public as required by law could “trigger” the victims.

Greg Piper at The College Fix has the story:

Arizona State flouts law: Complying could ‘trigger’ sexual-assault victims

Arizona law requires the names of sexual-assault victims in crime reports to be made public. But Arizona State University refuses to turn over the names of 36 victims in response to a request by the Arizona Republic – or even ask the victims if they’d like to talk to a reporter.

The rationale? It could “trigger” the victims. More likely, it could “trigger” bad PR for ASU if the victims speak.

Media blog Romenesko has the details, which involve a series that reporter Anne Ryman is writing about sexual assault at the school and the criminal-justice process for students who allege they were assaulted.

Gannett, the newspaper owner, and the school have been arguing for four months on what should be a point of settled law:

“[ASU chief media officer Sharon Keeler] stated the names would not be released on grounds that it would have a chilling effect on sexual violence reporting,” Gannett attorney Courtney French wrote a letter to ASU’s assistant police chief. “While we appreciate ASU’s efforts to ensure all incidents of sexual violence on campus are reported and investigated, withholding victims’ names is not consistent with Arizona law.”

The Arizona Criminal Code, says the newspaper’s lawyer, “requires the victim’s name to be made public [and] as a result, the ASU PD’s redaction of victims’ names in this case is unlawful.”