University blames newspaper for fewer sex assault reports

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — University of Kentucky officials claim a student newspaper’s stories about alleged sexual harassment by a professor are to blame for a drop in sexual assault reports on campus.

1280x960_61028B00-IPUTVUniversity officials said in court filings that the number of sexual assault reports to the university’s Violence Intervention and Prevention Center fell to 38 this fall. The Lexington Herald-Leader ( reports the number was 59 between July and October 2015.

Center intervention program coordinator Ashley Rouster says after the Kentucky Kernel published the articles, students who visited the center feared their stories could appear in the paper.

However, Kentucky Kernel editor Marjorie Kirk says the stories she wrote about alleged sexual harassment had the opposite effect. She says students have come to her to tell their stories because they distrust the university.

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