March 8th, 2013
09:41 AM ET

U.S. to investigate UNC's handling of sex assault reports

By Vivian Kuo and Michael Pearson, CNN

(CNN) - The U.S. Department of Education has opened an investigation into the handling of sexual assault cases at the University of North Carolina at the request of current and former students, and a former administrator who say the university has long turned a blind eye to such allegations.

"We love UNC," said Annie Clark, the lead complainant. "We're not trying to vilify the university, we're just trying to make it better."

Clark and other students named in this report agreed to be identified by CNN, which does not typically identify the victims of sexual assault.

The investigation comes amid outrage on campus and nationwide over intimidation charges filed in the Chapel Hill, North Carolina, school's student-run honor court against one of the women involved in the complaint.

Investigators from the Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights will look into the women's allegations that school administrators brushed aside concerns about sexual violence on campus and failed to adequately investigate complaints of sexual assault, according to a March 1 letter sent to Clark by the agency.

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