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Texas school faces $83,000 in fines for inaccurate crime reports

May 9, 2013 at 1:01 PM

FORT WORTH, Texas, May 9 (UPI) -- A Texas college faces tens of thousands of dollars in fines for publishing inaccurate crime statistics and failing to report a sexual assault, officials say.

Inadequacies in several crime reports filed by the University of Texas at Arlington in 2008 were described as "serious" in a letter from the U.S. Department of Education, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported Wednesday.

The letter said "failures" in the reports had endangered UTA's students and employees who relied on the reports "to take precautions for their safety."

The university faces federal fines of $82,500 for shortcomings in the reports.

The university system has been granted a hearing to appeal the letter's allegations, but a date has not been scheduled.

The Department of Education charges the university classified as an assault an incident the agency believes should have called forcible fondling, a form of sexual assault, said UTA spokeswoman Kristin Sullivan. The university had contended in 2011 the classification was correct according to their investigation.

The department also challenged the school's classification of a fight between two roommates as assault of a family member. DOE contended the incident should have been called an aggravated assault because hair and earrings were ripped from one roommate. UTA has agreed that incident was wrongly classified.

Sullivan said the reports were corrected and resubmitted to the Department of Education in January 2012.

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