SAN FRANCISCO — The University of California confirmed Thursday it is investigating a graduate student’s allegations that a UC regent touched her upper thigh during a dinner five years ago.

Doctoral student Rebecca Ora made the claim during a public UC regents meeting Wednesday, saying Regent George Kieffer inappropriately touched her during a 2014 dinner.

“This persisted throughout the evening,” Rebecca Ora said into the microphone. She said she felt “powerless to stop this figure of authority from putting his hands on my body. I told myself we were discussing the tuition of hundreds of thousands, and I should not make a scene.”

After the meeting, Kieffer denied Ora’s account to the San Francisco Chronicle. He declined to tell his side of what happened at the dinner and added he is cooperating with the UC’s investigation of “this false allegation.”

Ora, a student at the University of California, Santa Cruz, said she first tried to forget what happened, but couldn’t, and reported the incident to the university a year and a half ago.

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