Ex-Brown student accused of rape granted access to documents held by his accuser

Brown University and a woman who says a former student raped her when they were freshmen there must begin turning over some documents requested by the accused man.

U.S. Magistrate David Martin on Wednesday directed Brown and the accuser to start turning over certain documents requested by William McCormick III and his lawyer, J. Scott Kilpatrick. They are seeking academic and medical records and any materials that could support or contradict the woman's claims.

Stephen Reid, a lawyer for the accuser and her father, said he wants to move the case forward but cautioned that some requested documents can't be released because they are confidential.

"I'm not going to produce documents that are protected by the attorney-client privilege, work-product," he said.

McCormick, now a senior at Bucknell University in central Pennsylvania, says the woman's accusations are false. He says in a lawsuit that he was removed from Brown's campus in September 2006, one day after being accused of sexually assaulting the woman in her dorm room.

He alleges Brown failed to properly investigate the rape complaint and that administrators were influenced in their handling of the case by their relationship to the accuser's father, who is a major donor to the Ivy League school.

The accuser — whose father is a Brown graduate and fundraiser for Brown — maintains she was raped. The university has said it acted appropriately.

McCormick, of Waukesha, Wis., withdrew from Brown that fall after becoming convinced that he could not get a fair hearing and under what he says was pressure from the accuser's lawyer. He signed a contract in which he agreed to leave Brown in exchange for the woman agreeing not to pursue any legal action against McCormick.

He has sued Brown, the accuser and her father in federal court in Providence. The woman has filed a counterclaim against him for breach of contract.

The woman graduated in May. The Associated Press generally does not identify people who say they were victims of sex crimes.

The records sought include the accuser's academic files, medical or counseling records and any documents that show "an enhanced level of attention or protection" to students who are the children of Brown fundraisers and major donors.

He also is seeking any documents related to the rape accusation made against McCormick, any documents showing how Brown investigated the complaint and any records of communication between the accuser's family and university administrators.

An e-mail made public by McCormick shows the accuser's father contacted Brown President Ruth Simmons and told her his goal was to have McCormick removed from campus so that his daughter wouldn't have to be questioned about her accusation.

Lawyers for Brown and the accuser said they were willing to turn over certain documents as long as a judge issued a protective order limiting the release or disclosure of confidential or privileged information or testimony.

Martin extended the protective order — at the defendants' request — to include confidential or privileged information given by people who haven't been sued but who lawyers nonetheless want to question, including Brown staff and administrators and current and former Brown students.