Many victims and witnesses in the Aurora, Colorado, theater shootings are being tormented by conspiracy theorists after their addresses and phone numbers were posted online.
Some have also been impersonated in court filings.
District Attorney George Brauchler said Wednesday in a document that some victims are voicing concerns over their safety.
He has asked District Judge William Sylvester to redact the names of victims and witnesses from documents released in the future. Many of the victims and witnesses, however, were already identified due to media interviews and previously released court filings.
Brauchler wants to make sure the victims and witnesses feel safe, as many of them are needed to cooperate in the prosecution’s case.
James Holmes, the man accused of killing 12 people and wounding 70 at the theater, is scheduled to enter a plea next month.
Brauchler explained in a court filing that some victims have been “subjected to relentless contacts by proponents of purported ‘conspiracies.’”
There have also been reports of maps, addresses, and phone numbers of the victims being posted online, and some people have impersonated victims and witnesses in filed court motions on the case.
While Brauchler and his spokeswoman did not say which victims were being harassed, the judge is attempting to make the case less public.
Sylvester has forbidden attorneys and investigators from speaking publicly on the case, and has sealed court documents. Meanwhile, Holmes’ attorneys are trying to discover how a Fox News reporter had access to the contents of a notebook Holmes sent to a psychiatrist. They claim that the situation violated Sylvester’s secrecy orders.
Media outlets and those interested in the case have objected to the secrecy surrounding the case and have asked for more information.
The city has even asked Sylvester to reconsider his secrecy orders, as they claim they became “moot” when prosecutors “outlined their case against Holmes.”
City officials said they had calls from emergency responders in other cities asking how they managed the shooting, while media, academics and other individuals have also asked for more information.