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Charlotte Area News

Furman University Refuses To Release Sexual Assault Reports

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A South Carolina university is refusing to release campus police records from a reported sexual assault.

Furman University says it doesn't have to comply with South Carolina's open records laws because it's a private institution and not a public one.

A South Carolina Press Association lawyer says Furman receives public funding and is subject to the laws.

"If you receive public funds, if you're supported in full or in part by public funds, or you manage the expenditure of public funds, you are a public body for the purposes of the South Carolina Freedom of Information Act," said Taylor Smith, a lawyer for the association.

The Greenville News is seeking reports regarding a reported sexual assault on Oct. 6 in a campus dormitory.

The State Law Enforcement Division is investigating reports of sexual assaults at the same student housing building. Multiple student athletes at Furman are connected to a sexual misconduct investigation, agency spokesman Tommy Crosby said recently. The agency has not given specific details about assault reports.

The state agency has instructed the university not to release any details related to the allegations as the investigation continues, Furman spokesman Clinton Colmenares said.