Sep 29, 5:08 PM EDT

Court upholds teen rape and murder victim's privacy rights

AP Photo
AP Photo/Jim Cole

Interactive: Becoming a Teacher in Mid-career
Survey of College Fundraising (PDF)
AP Poll: Public Education
Report on Loan Options for Community College Students (April 17, 2008)
An Alternative to Special Education
Latest News
Board apologizes after flap over separate low-income school

14-year-old boy charged in father's killing, school shooting

The Latest: Boy still in critical after school shooting

Court: US does not have to disclose Army school trainees

Audit: Take back $3.4M in FEMA money from Mississippi school

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) -- The New Hampshire Supreme Court on Thursday decided that the details of a young woman's sexual history should remain private after her rape and murder.

Elizabeth "Lizzi" Marriott, of Westborough, Massachusetts, was a 19-year-old sophomore at the University of New Hampshire when she was killed in 2012. Seth Mazzaglia was convicted of murder and is serving a life sentence, but argued the trial court should've allowed him to introduce evidence about Marriott's past.

In June, the state Supreme Court ruled information about Marriott's sexual activity that was sealed during the trial should be made public during the appeals process. Prosecutors and Marriott's family objected.

The court issued its new ruling Thursday after lawyers argued the issue last week.

At issue was whether the state's rape shield law, which is intended to protect rape victims from having their personal information revealed during criminal proceedings, applies to both trials and appeals. Every state has such laws.

"We are pleased that the court upheld the well-established right of rape victims to not have their prior sexual history used against them. This is a victory for not just the Marriott's but for all victims of sexual assault." said Amanda Grady Sexton of the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence.

Mazzaglia's attorney, Christopher Johnson, had argued the court shouldn't conduct the appellate process behind closed doors. He noted the order said arguments on his client's appeal would be public, and there were no restrictions on them.

Prosecutors had asked the appeal arguments to be closed, then released a transcript later with private information blacked out.

© 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.