Local/State

UNC delays honor court case against student

Thursday, September 12, 2013

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill announced Tuesday that it's suspending the honor court case against a student who faces possible expulsion after saying publicly that she's a rape victim.

Landen Gambill has filed a federal complaint against the school with the Office for Civil Rights in the U.S. Department of Education, saying it retaliated against her.

"Recognizing the potential conflicts that may exist by allowing both processes to continue, we have asked the Student Attorney General to suspend the Honor Court proceeding pending an external review of these allegations of retaliation. The University takes all allegations of retaliation seriously, whether against an individual or an institution, and this allegation is no exception," said UNC-CH Chancellor Holden Thorp in a statement.

Although she has not publicly identified the man she alleges raped her, Gambill is accused violating the honor code by creating an environment that's intimidating for him. A university hearings board earlier cleared him of sexual assault charges but found him guilty of harassing her. He faces no criminal charges.

Gambill's complaint marks the third one filed this year against the university concerning sexual assault. Gambill is also one of five women who in January filed a Title IX complaint with the office of civil rights, saying UNC-CH mishandles sexual abuse cases.

Investigators are due on campus next month to investigate whether the school accurately reports campus crimes as required by federal law under the Clery Act, which requires campuses participating in federal financial aid programs to collect and disclose crime statistics and security information.

UNC-Chapel Hill has denied underreporting crimes and said last week it's cooperating with the investigations. The university provided DOE last week with a spreadsheet detailing all student complaints of sexual harassment or assault through this month and what was done in each case.

The university also responded by a March 21 deadline to questions posed as part of an investigation by the Education Department's Office for Civil Rights.

The school this month hired two new employees to investigate sexual assault allegations and help victims.

Associated Press writer Martha Waggoner contributed to this report

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