Fighting back against false allegations
You might remember Emma Sulkowicz, the Columbia University student who vowed to carry her mattress around campus in protest of her alleged rapist who remained on campus. Sulkowicz turned what she says was a horrible tragedy into performance art; performance art that will suffice as her senior thesis.
Sulkowicz chose not to press charges, but to pursue allegations through Columbia’s ‘justice’ system instead.
A few months ago, Sulkowocz’s alleged rapist, German student Jean-Paul Nungesser, provided his side of the story to the The Daily Beast.
Nungesser’s story, which was corroborated by Facebook and text messages provided to The Daily Beast, deviated significantly from Sulkowicz’s version of the sordid tale. Though charges levied against by Nungesser were dismissed by Columbia University, he was judged harshly by his peers as a result of what appeared to be false accusations. When Nungesser’s shared his version of events, I wrote:
Nungesser was judged in the court of public opinion because of what appear to be patently false accusations. He was hounded by the press and his peers. Meanwhile, Sulkowicz was praised for her bravery and artistic expression. And the compulsion to vilify the accused, in spite of evidence to the contrary, has yet another notch on its belt.
Yesterday, the Washington Times reported Nungesser filed a complaint against Columbia University in a Manhattan federal court claiming the university engaged in, “gender bias by allowing him to be subjected to a hostile and intimidating learning environment.” Nungesser argues that Columbia, “failed to shield him from harassment even though police and campus authorities refused to pursue rape charges against him.”
Nungesser’s complaint is one of several recent indicators that the days of false accusation without consequence may be coming to a very welcome end.
Earlier this week, a University of Arkansas female student was arrested for filing a false police report about alleged sexual assault.
University of Virginia associate dean of students Nicole Eramo released an open letter railing against Rolling Stone saying, “using me as the personification of a heartless administration, the Rolling Stone article attacked my life’s work.” According to the Washington Post, “Eramo wrote that her name will now “remain forever linked to an article that has damaged my reputation and falsely portrayed the work to which I have dedicated my life.””
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