UNC case on sex assault records heading to NC Supreme Court
The N.C. Supreme Court agreed Friday to hear the case several media outlets have brought against UNCChapel Hill asking for identities of students and employees found responsible for rape and sexual assault.
In 2016, The Daily Tar Heel student newspaper filed a public information request with UNC, asking for records connected to sex crimes and related offenses through the school’s honor court, its Committee on Student Conduct or the Equal Opportunity and Compliance Office.
The university turned down that request, calling such data “educational records” protected by federal law.
The Daily Tar Heel sued later in 2016 along with the Charlotte Observer, The (Durham) Herald Sun and Capitol Broadcasting, which owns WRAL.
The N.C. Court of Appeals ruled in April that UNC must provide the names, disputing the university’s argument on federal law.
The university filed petitions with the Su- preme Court in May after expressing disappointment in the appellate ruling, saying they worried release of information would discourage victims and witnesses from coming forward.
In 2014, UNC-Chapel Hill put a new sexual assault policy into place after five women asked the federal government to investigate what they described as an atmosphere of sexual violence on campus.