A Robertson County judge has sealed the entire court file in a case involving a former public high school teacher-volleyball coach accused of video recording girls undressing in a locker room.
This, according to The Tennessee Coalition for Open Government, which mentioned the case in their most recent newsletter.
The TCOG also said the judge, Bill Goodman, will not allow members of the public to know about new charges in a new indictment against Clifton Horn.
“The original indictment involved allegations that the former coach video-recorded girls undressing in the locker room,” according to the TCOG.
According to the RobertsonCountyConnection.com, former East Robertson High School volleyball coach Clifton Horn is facing sexual exploitation charges and recently had even more charges added to his long list of accusations.
“Jason White, assistant district attorney for the 19th Judicial District and (Horn’s attorney Peter) Strianse requested a gag order in the case, which Judge Goodman approved,” according to the website.
The details of the new indictment were not made available to the public. The court records have been sealed, by order of Judge Goodman, allowing access of the court file only to the District Attorney General’s office and members of the defense team.
The decision to seal the court file was made due to the sensitive nature of the matter, according to the order.”
Deborah Fisher, executive director of the TCOG, told the website it’s very unusual for a judge to seal an entire file in a criminal case.
“What surprises me is that the actual charges are sealed,” RobertsonCountyConnection.com quoted Fisher as saying.
“This is troubling because this involves a case of high public interest in that community, a public school teacher accused of activity that occurred at a public high school. I would think the public deserves to know more than that.”
Fisher also said when a judge seals a file in this case it is ideally to redact the names of young people involved.
“He didn’t explain in the order, other than it’s sensitive material,” the website quoted Fisher as saying.
“If the purpose is to protect names, there’s a way to do that other than sealing the entire file.”
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