Harrisonburg-Rockingham Commonwealth's Attorney Marsha Garst took her first look at a small number of Springfest photos from "The Breeze" Tuesday.
A settlement was reached to release 20 pictures, and the Division of Risk Management is giving the student-run newspaper $10,000 for attorney fees.
Garst says the raid of "The Breeze" office with at least ten police officers was not meant to intimidate.
"In no way was it intended in any way to hurt either the press or any in way infringe on any individual rights either," says Garst.
She says, from now on, her office will use the subpoena process to obtain information or documents from any news medium.
"Certainly now I have gotten very, very thorough education in the Federal Privacy Act, and all of the case law, and I was ensure you that absent and imminent need, and that's just what we said, to prevent this injury," says Garst.
While both Garst and Breeze General Manager Brad Jenkins say an "imminent need" is hard to determine, his staff is pleased with the result.
"I think that we're very happy to have that assurance. And I think not just for 'The Breeze,' but for every media organization in this community," says Jenkins.
He says it's not that they don't want those who violate the law to be caught.
"It's that we want it to be done in a way that is lawful and follows established rules," says Jenkins.
Garst says, after reviewing the 20 photos, they are instrumental to bringing others to justice.
"They are of excellent quality and they were very unique to what we needed, and no other source had them, including the task force that looked at so much media and so many videos," says Garst.
"The Breeze" has posted dozens of pictures online, but according to the agreement, they are not allowed to distinguish which of the pictures are among the 20 photos they released to the Commonwealth's Attorney.
The Commonwealth's Attorneys Office is also looking into drafting an ordinance to put limits on large gatherings and open door parties before the students return in the fall.
© Copyright 2013 WHSV / Gray Television Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.