BOSTON (AP) – The highest court in Massachusetts has ruled that search warrants in rape cases should not automatically be sealed from public view.
The Supreme Judicial Court ruled Thursday in the case of William O’Connell, a Quincy real estate developer charged with statutory rape.
O’Connell’s lawyer and prosecutors both sought to keep a search warrant in the case sealed, but a District Court judge found that there was no good cause for continuing to keep the material impounded.
The judge ordered the search warrant unsealed, but with the victim’s name and other identifying information blacked out before it was made public.
The high court upheld the lower court’s ruling.
O’Connell was charged last year with statutory rape, paying a fee for sex and trafficking in cocaine. He has pleaded not guilty.