KENNEWICK -- The attorney for Linda Lusk, the ex-mayor of Prosser who faces charges of third-degree felony child molestation, obtained a Benton County court hearing set for Aug. 25 on whether police reports and investigative records in court files should be made public.
On Wednesday, attorney Scott Johnson, with Lusk at his side, told Superior Court Judge Carrie Runge he would like the court to review the documents, which were requested by the Tri-City Herald.
Johnson argued in documents filed Monday in opposition to the Herald's request that the court should seal them temporarily to protect her right to a fair trial. He gave the court a packet of documents he said contained investigative records, with recommended redactions.
The Herald has made two public records requests in the Lusk case, one to the Benton County Sheriff's Department on June 9 and the other to the Prosser Police Department on June 21.
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"If the entire investigative file is opened to the public, there is a high probability that potential jurors will form opinions based on the investigative records. These opinions, formed prior to any evidence being presented in a trial, would certainly interfere with Ms. Lusk's ability to receive a fair trial," Johnson wrote in his motion filed with the court.
Johnson wants the following information redacted:
-- Lusk's statements.
-- Summaries of her statements.
-- Opinions of witnesses on credibility and guilt.
-- Names, addresses and other personal information on witnesses.
Lusk, 49, allegedly sent sexually explicit text messages to a teenage boy, which allegedly led to inappropriate sexual contact at her home in April.
Lusk, who was elected Prosser's first female mayor in 2003, is married and her husband is principal of Prosser High, which the boy attends.
* John Trumbo: 509-582-1529; email@example.com