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Student Accused of Rape By ‘Mattress Girl’ Sues Columbia U., Publishes Dozens of Damning Texts


Sulkowicz made life a living hell for Nungesser

Robby Soave|Apr. 24, 2015 4:05 pm

Paul Nungesser, the Columbia University student accused of raping fellow student Emma Sulkowicz, is now suing the university for doing nothing to stop Sulkowicz’s harassment campaign against him, which he claims “effectively destroyed” his college experience, reputation, and future career prospects.

His lawsuit contains a wealth of new information about the contested sexual assault, including dozens of messages establishing Sulkowicz’s sexual “yearning” for Nungesser, which she sent to him both before and after the alleged incident. (Full text of the lawsuit here, courtesy of KC Johnson.)

Sulkowicz and Nungesser initially became friends at Columbia, developing an intimate relationship that involved several sexual encounters and frequent discussions of sex and relationships. Eventually, she accused him of choking, attacking, and anally raping her. Nungesser was cleared by Columbia’s sexual assault adjudication process (the police later declined to pursue charges, citing a lack of probable suspicion), which prompted Sulkowicz to go public with her claims and start carrying her mattress everywhere she went as a form of protest against what she viewed as a miscarriage of justice. She became something of a spokesperson for rape victims, and was even invited to attend the State of the Union address with Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-New York).

There were reasons to doubt Sulkowicz’s claims. Reason contributor Cathy Young outlined some of them in a detailed piece for The Daily Beast. Perhaps most damning for Sulkowicz’s credibility are friendly messages she sent him, and continued to send, even after he allegedly raped her.

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