The lawsuit between Paul Nungesser and Columbia University has finally been settled. Nungesser, a former student of the university, filed a lawsuit against Columbia back in 2015 on allegations that the “university supported an outrageous display of harassment and defamation after fellow student Emma Sulkowicz held protests around campus where people openly called him a rapist.” Before the recent settlement was announced, the suit had been dismissed on two separate occasions.
The lawsuit between Paul Nungesser and Columbia University has been settled. Nungesser, a former student of the university, filed a lawsuit against Columbia back in 2015 on allegations that the “university supported an outrageous display of harassment and defamation after fellow student Emma Sulkowicz held protests around campus where people openly called him a rapist.” Before the recent settlement was announced, the suit had been dismissed on two separate occasions.
But what exactly was Nungesser accused of that lead him to file the lawsuit in the first place? Well, back in 2012, “Sulkowicz accused Nungesser of raping her in her dorm room on the first day of her sophomore year.” After the university conducted an investigation of the incident, they determined that he was not “responsible for any misconduct” and police did not pursue charges. During his time at Columbia, “three other students also accused Nungesser of assault.”
In response to the university’s investigation and the fact that no charges were being pressed against Nungesser, Sulkowicz and other students held dozens of protests to stand in solidarity with “survivors of sexual violence at Columbia.” In one protest, “Sulkowicz carried her mattress around campus as part of her senior thesis project titled Mattress Performance or Carry That Weight in 2014.” At the time, she said:
“Rape can happen anywhere. For me, I was raped in my own dorm bed. Since then, it has basically become fraught for me, and I feel like I’ve carried the weight of what happened there with me everywhere since then.”
It wasn’t long after the protests began that Nungesser’s name became public, thanks in large part to the flyers being hung around campus with a “list of rapists.” These actions were why Nungesser filed the lawsuit against the university because he felt it played a role in supporting Sulkowicz’ actions.
At the moment, details of the settlement have yet to be disclosed, though the university issued the following statement on July 13:
“Columbia recognizes that after the conclusion of the investigation, Paul’s remaining time at Columbia became very difficult for him and not what Columbia would want any of its students to experience. Columbia will continue to review and update its policies toward ensuring that every student ― accuser and accused, including those like Paul who are found not responsible ― is treated respectfully and as a full member of the Columbia.”
Additionally, Andrew Miltenberg, Nungesser’s attorney, issued the following statement shortly after the settlement was announced:
“Together with Paul and his parents, we have fought for three long years for a statement like the one Columbia released today. It gives Paul a chance to go on with his life and recover from the false accusation against him. We hope that the resolution of the case also ensures that no student will ever have to endure what Paul went through after he was exonerated.”
Columbia University Settled Lawsuit With Man Who Allegedly Raped Emma Sulkowicz
Man Accused Of Raping ‘Mattress Girl’ Wins Lawsuit Against Columbia University
Join the conversation!