Judge Sides With University In Legal Fight With Student Newspaper A judge has sided with the University of Kentucky in a lawsuit against its own student newspaper, The Kentucky Kernel, over the release of a Title IX sexual assault investigation.
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Judge Sides With University In Legal Fight With Student Newspaper

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Judge Sides With University In Legal Fight With Student Newspaper

Judge Sides With University In Legal Fight With Student Newspaper

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Now an update on an unusual story we aired earlier this month. It's a legal fight between the University of Kentucky and its own student newspaper, the Kentucky Kernel. The university had sued the paper to try and block records of a Title IX sexual assault investigation from being made public. Now the judge presiding over the case has handed down a ruling. NPR's Ashley Westerman has more.

ASHLEY WESTERMAN, BYLINE: In his decision Tuesday, the county circuit court judge sided with the university, agreeing that there was no way to release documents in the investigation without revealing the identities of the alleged sexual assault victims. He also ruled that the documents fall under the federal privacy law that protects student records. In a video statement, UK president Eli Capilouto says he's grateful.

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ELI CAPILOUTO: This is going to be helpful because I think it'll encourage people to report, give us a greater opportunity through a process that ensures fairness for both the accused and those that are making the allegation that we can adjudicate these cases.

WESTERMAN: The student paper, the Kentucky Kernel, was seeking findings from the investigation of a former professor accused by two graduate students of sexual harassment and assault. The professor left the university before investigators could present their findings. The paper requested the records, but the school only handed over some of them, citing student privacy. Kernel editor-in-chief Marjorie Kirk says despite the ruling, she isn't backing down.

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF MARJORIE KIRK: I'm still proud of the work that my staff did to pursue these stories and to help out with this litigation. And so while I was disappointed the judge didn't see that, I think the public is definitely in support of this, so I'm still encouraged to pursue the truth and pursue good journalism.

WESTERMAN: Kirk says they will appeal the decision. Ashley Westerman, NPR News.

(SOUNDBITE OF BEWARE OF SAFETY SONG, "RISE BY SIN")

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