Accused Student in Columbia Sexual Assault Case Gets Lawsuit Dismissed

The student argued Columbia failed to protect him from sexual harassment and discrimination.

The former student accused of sexually assaulting a classmate who later became notorious as “Mattress Girl” had his lawsuit against Columbia University dismissed by a judge March 11.

Paul Nungesser, who went public with his story following a protest by a classmate that accused him of rape, was told by a judge that his lawsuit alleging discrimination by the university was not in line with Title IX, according to the Huffington Post.

Nungesser had argued that the school should have stopped what he called harassment by his accuser, Emma Sulkowicz, who maintained a high profile around campus as an activist.

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After the university’s sexual misconduct hearing failed to find Nungesser responsible for sexual assault, Sulkowicz carried a mattress with her everywhere she went on campus, saying she’d only stop when Nungesser was expelled or left the school.

Because the university allowed Sulkowicz to carry the mattress around as part of her senior thesis, Nungesser argued, the school exposed him to sexual discrimination and harassment. Nungesser also claimed he was denied a security escort and his confidentiality was violated.

But a judge found no basis for his sexual harassment claims. “Nungesser does not allege that Sulkowicz ever attempted to touch him, spoke to him, followed him, or otherwise interacted with him after the October 2013 hearing,” Woods wrote in his opinion. “Nor does he allege that she ever used his name in any of her public statements.”

The court did rule that Nungesser could file another complaint against the school if he wishes to, and his attorney said he planned to.

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