UNC-CH officials deny underreporting sex assaults

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CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) — Officials at North Carolina's flagship public university dispute claims they underreported sexual assaults in 2010 to avoid looking bad.

The top attorney at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill told campus trustees Thursday that the allegations are false. General Counsel Leslie Strohm and Chancellor Holden Thorpe said they had not seen a complaint filed earlier this month with the U.S. Education Department's Office for Civil Rights.

A copy of the report was obtained by the student newspaper, The Daily Tar Heel. That newspaper reported last week that current and former students and former assistant dean of students Melinda Manning accuse the school of underreporting sexual assaults in an annual report to the federal government on campus crime.

They did not return messages Thursday seeking comment.

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