Judge seals evidence in Vanderbilt rape trial; open records advocates say move unprecedented

A judge has sealed all the evidence presented at trial against two former Vanderbilt University football players who were convicted of gang-raping a fellow student.

Open records advocates told The Tennessean (http://tnne.ws/1D9clWN) that the move is unprecedented in Nashville courts.

The order issued by Judge Monte Watkins on Wednesday says it is "reasonable and appropriate" to seal all evidence presented during the 12-day trial, which was open to the public. There were more than 75 exhibits presented.

Robb Harvey, an attorney representing a media coalition that has been fighting for records in the case, says he is unaware of any other case in which evidence presented at a public trial was sealed afterward.

The order was issued one day after the convictions.