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Male student accused of rape by ‘mattress girl’ sues Columbia University

Male student accused of rape by ‘mattress girl’ sues Columbia University

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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I hope this guy walks away with enough of Columbia’s money to ensure that he never has to work another day in his life, unless he wants to.

    MarkS in reply to Observer. | April 24, 2015 at 6:21 pm

    He also needs to collect a hefty sum from little Miss Sulkowicz

    sequester in reply to Observer. | April 25, 2015 at 12:19 pm

    He may never see a dime by pleading gender based discrimination against Columbia University in a US District Court, no matter how egregiously he was treated. The issue is not whether he was shabbily treated, but whether he can posit a complaint which meets the high pleading standards of a Federal gender bias claim. A similar case against Columbia by the same law firm was just dismissed.

Chickie + inflatable mattress = “art”?

Naw. What it makes is a poor, warped girl who wants to be a “victim” because she did something stupid that she now regrets.

The nicest thing anybody could do for her would be to puncture her mattress and tell her to learn from her choices.

    legacyrepublican in reply to Ragspierre. | April 25, 2015 at 1:01 am

    Well, at least as far as performance art goes for 2014, carrying a mattress around sure was far more tame than the naked woman in Cologne dropping eggs filled with paint from her vagina onto a canvas.

      Ragspierre in reply to legacyrepublican. | April 25, 2015 at 11:03 am

      You get the same effect from actual hens, and you can eat the results!

      On the other hand, I have to concede she does have some impressive muscles…

      Reminds me of stories I’ve heard of Vietnamese girls during the war.

Phillep Harding | April 24, 2015 at 6:33 pm

Beer and popcorn time.

Actions in the Southern District of New York alleging gender bias by Columbia face an uphill battle. Nessoff & Mittleberg (the same firm that filed this proceeding) just had Doe vs Columbia dismissed by Judge Furman for failure to state a claim.

Falsely accusing someone of rape and then strapping a mattress to your back doesn’t seem like the best optics….

Just as baseless allegations of racism must be regarded racist acts, baseless allegation of rape or any crime must be regarded as a crime equivalent to that alleged if we want to see an end to our current societal glorification of victimization.

It’s interesting that this suit is being brought by a German. Europe has laws against slander that essentially require a response to false accusations. If a person does not take action, the accusations can be presumed (at least, in the press).

Henry Hawkins | April 24, 2015 at 10:03 pm

Harry Reid touched my pee pee.

Here is a link for the complaint:
It is a very disturbing read. And it is just the complaint so who knows what additional evidence exists for the plaintiff.

riverlife_callie | April 25, 2015 at 12:18 am

Interesting that Nungesser is suing Columbia, the dean and the professor who assigned Sulkowicz’s “performance art” but not Sulkowicz herself. According to RS McCain, this was a smart move because he can include statements about and from her without her being able to accuse him of defamation. Can one of you brilliant legal minds speak to this? Is it beneficial to Nungesser to structure the suit this way?

I hope he comes out of it considerable richer, and little Miss Sulkowicz comes out of it as a pitiful laughing stock. I am glad to see people fighting back against this garbage.

    Ragspierre in reply to riverlife_callie. | April 25, 2015 at 8:19 am

    I have a lot of mixed feelings/opinions about this suit.

    I don’t understand the strategery here, except to speculate that Sulkawitz doesn’t have any money. Even so, there is a doctrine in Texas called “compulsory joinder” (which might or might not apply here), which means you have to bring in everybody. This is because we like to deal with everything and everybody involved in a particular incident or set of conduct ONE time. Either side can bring in Sulkawitz, or she could also join in one of two or three capacities.

    I don’t like the whole “hostile environment” thing, and never have. It’s used as a means of suing over hurt feelings, essentially, and by people I’m not particularly sympathetic to.

    You can’t say anything about Sulkawitz you couldn’t say if she were a party, and I’d be inclined to say a lot less. Attorney/party immunity within litigation is NOT an absolute (though I’ve schooled some other lawyers who thought that it was).

    Nungesser is not someone I admire or have much sympathy for, frankly. I agree he’s been hosed by this chickie and her Rad-Fem coven, and that is, of course, very wrong. So is his conduct, IMNHO. While he’s no rapist, he’s also no gentleman, or even a lover. He’s just a dick.

      Valerie in reply to Ragspierre. | April 25, 2015 at 11:36 am

      They’re both dicks.

      I am glad to see the adult, Prof. Kessler, named.

      This story is not unfamiliar to me. College campuses have been full of soap opera stories for decades. Very young people have no good sense and no judgment. Add in a strong dose of promiscuity, and feelings get very hurt, very often. That is one reason why college campuses have generally kept a lid on things, to give these idiots time to grow up and calm down.

      Prof. Kessler had business to refuse to support this publicity-seeking activity. Shame on him. I hope he works for Nungesser for at least the next ten years, in a job far away from impressionable students.

      Elliott in reply to Ragspierre. | April 26, 2015 at 1:56 pm

      Agree that a lot of the language is payback. But he was under enforced confidentiality rules and she wasn’t which was gleefully exploited. She also had a media/PR adviser who works for her father whose advise seems to have also backfired. Cause and effect is a difficult concept for some such as Ms Sulkowicz and some faculty and administrators at Columbia. I wonder what the board thinks? I’m sure they are not pleased that the circus has come to town.

        MJN1957 in reply to Elliott. | April 27, 2015 at 3:11 pm

        The claim in the complaint is that she WAS under the exact same confidentiality rules as he. Yet, when she repeatedly broke those rules, the only action the university took was to remind HIM of the rules.

      healthguyfsu in reply to Ragspierre. | April 27, 2015 at 2:55 am

      My guess is hoping for a settlement from deep pockets.

      I don’t see how you can sue the university for anything of substance since they never made his name public.

      While I completely empathize with his situation and the BS he went through, I don’t like the idea of telling a university you MUST thought and speech police everyone on campus to protect this person’s feelings. They already do enough of that on their own with all the ridiculous fragile yet hostile activism.

        Elliott in reply to healthguyfsu. | April 27, 2015 at 9:31 am

        I would agree with you except they are giving academic credits to what arguably is malicious defamation. She is currently trying to confuse the issue with “artistic expression” and “her truth”. See the live-twitter for her “talk” at Brown U about her art which has large dabs of psychoanalytical babble and academic art-speak. Her advisers are trying as hard as they can to spin through her. She says she doesn’t recognize logic and science in her truth (wuh?). So the defense was already working on trying artistic expression and crazy town-speak as qualifiers. The complaint puts a stop to it.

Char Char Binks | April 25, 2015 at 1:56 pm

I see a bright future for this girl doing “performance art” on a mattress.

You would think that she would use that university education and carry something a little more portable:

Hopefully his lawyer can figure out a way to include the young woman in some sort of civil suit. She needs to learn that there are consequences for what she does and says.

The Emma “The Mattress” Sulkowicz celebrity story may be the most outrageous false campus rape allegation of all time, even surpassing the Duke Lacrosse Team scandal and the Rolling Stone fiasco for the rape fable with the most traction. Google: Model of Campus Gender-Based Harassment: The Columbia University “Mattress” Story.