U of I calls student's complaint, former professor's record confidential

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by KREM.com & Othello Richards

KREM.com

Posted on August 25, 2011 at 5:44 PM

Updated Friday, Aug 26 at 6:29 AM

MOSCOW, Idaho -- The family of a University of Idaho student allegedly killed by a former assistant professor wants more information from the school about a complaint their daughter filed against the man.

Police say Ernesto Bustamante, 31, shot and killed Katy Benoit, 22, outside her home Monday night and later committed suicide.
 
Much of the information in this case is considered confidential.
 
“The university is committed to full disclosure within the bounds of the law. Part of my job is to make sure we stay within the bounds of the law. That's what we intend to do,” Kent Nelson, University of Idaho’s chief lawyer, said.
 
Court documents show Benoit filed a complaint with the school in June about then Assistant Professor of Psychology Ernesto Bustamante.
 
Documents say the two were involved in a romantic relationship that deteriorated, and Bustamante threatened her several times with a gun.
 
In a statement issued by Benoit’s family, they said she shared details with them about her issues with Bustamante.
 
The family also asked the university to be forthcoming in disclosing everything that went on this past summer in response to Bustamante’s behavior with Katy.
 
“With respect to personnel records, there's an Idaho statute that makes personnel records confidential, with the exception of relatively limited data that talks about name, dates of employment and the like. The confidentially is mandated and can only be waived by the employee,” Nelson said.
 
Even in the case of death, Nelson said that the confidentiality laws still apply. When KREM 2 asked whether local law enforcement became involved following Benoit’s complaint, Nelson said that he is not able to discuss the specifics.
 
Moscow Police will not comment regarding whether they had interactions with Bustamante prior to the incident, but say to expect a release from them Friday.

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