Judge denies Spierers’ request to seal evidence

Lauren Spierer
Lauren Spierer

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A federal judge denied a request Thursday by the parents of a missing Indiana University student to seal evidence they deem too sensitive in their lawsuit against two men who were among the last to see her alive.

Magistrate Judge Tim Baker said the request by the parents of Lauren Spierer was “overbroad.”

Robert and Mary Charlene Spierer filed the request for a protective order in U.S. District Court in Indianapolis in January. The 20-year-old Greenburgh, N.Y., native disappeared in June 2011 after a night of partying with friends in Bloomington.

The Spierers have sued Corey Rossman and Jason Rosenbaum. They claim the men failed to keep their daughter safe after a night of drinking.

No criminal charges have been filed in the woman’s disappearance.

The Associated Press left a phone message seeking comment from the Spierers’ attorney. Rosenbaum’s attorney declined comment.

The January motion sought an order “preventing public dissemination of sensitive and private information” that may be filed in court during the Spierers’ lawsuit against Rossman and Rosenbaum.

The Spierers’ attorneys said that releasing that information publicly could interfere with the investigation into Lauren Spierer’s disappearance and impede the seating of an impartial jury. The request also asked that confidential material be destroyed within 30 days of the end of the case.

But Baker said in his ruling that the information the Spierers want declared confidential includes the vague phrase “and other things” and failed to explain how the material might cause harm.

“Plaintiffs fail to explain how such material is under a legitimate category of confidential information,” he wrote.

However, the ruling did not exclude the possibility that the Spierers might try the strategy again.

The lawsuit filed last year by Robert and Mary Charlene Spierer claims Rossman and Rosenbaum gave Lauren Spierer alcohol and failed to make sure she made it back to her Bloomington apartment safely, leading to her presumed death.

The men’s attorneys have argued there is no proof that Lauren Spierer is dead and that the men weren’t responsible for the safety of an adult.

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