Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Montana Paper Seeks to Intervene in Rape Court Case

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Montana Paper Seeks to Intervene in Rape Court Case

Article excerpt

The Billings (Mont.) Gazette wants to intervene in a lawsuit filedby a man seeking compensation after he served 15 years in prison for a rape that DNA evidence later showed he did not commit.

In documents filed in court Monday, the Gazette opposed state attempts to close a June 11 hearing in the case and to enforce an order restricting access to case files. "We believe the public's right to know is not served when hearings areclosed and public documents are sealed from view," said Steve Prosinski, the Gazette's editor. "An important case such as this, involving several government entities, should be contested out in the open, not in secret."

State and federal laws provide for access, said Martha Sheehy, a lawyer for the Gazette.

The case of Jim Bromgard, the former Billings man exonerated by the DNA evidence, is before U.S. Magistrate Carolyn Ostby. She has not ruled on the Gazette's request.

Bromgard's 1987 conviction for the rape of an 8-year-old girl was vacated in 2002. …

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