Watch CBS News

Columbia Student Sues University, Says Rape Accuser Has Ruined His Reputation

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) -- A Columbia University senior filed a lawsuit against the school Thursday, claiming that the university failed to protect him from harassment amid claims that he had raped a fellow student.

The lawsuit was filed Thursday in Manhattan U.S. District Court by Paul Nungesser. The German citizen said the student's campaign to muddy his name by dragging a mattress around campus and demonstrating has isolated him and hurt his job prospects and ability to stay in America.

The lawsuit said Columbia University effectively sponsored his gender-based harassment and defamation, causing an intimidating and hostile learning and living environment.

The woman, fellow senior Emma Sulkowicz, brought national headlines to Columbia last fall when she inspired a day of protest over the handling of sexual assault at the University.

She said she was the victim of a 2012 sexual assault, but she said her alleged attacker was never investigated.

She gained notoriety for carrying the mattress around campus as her senior project, and saying she would continue doing so until the alleged rapist was expelled.

Sulkowicz said the accusations were dismissed because it was found to be more likely than not that the rape didn't happen. But Sukowicz insists it did. She said the man has merely been order not to contact her in any way.

In January, the federal government opened an investigation into how reports of rape on campus are investigated at Columbia University.

Sulkowicz was invited to President Barack Obama's State of the Union Address in January by U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) who called her "a brave young woman who was raped."

Sulkowicz was quoted in the Columbia Spectator as calling the lawsuit "ridiculous," and said Nungesser had made "continued public attempts to smear (her) reputation."

A university spokesman declined comment on Nungesser's lawsuit.

You can read the entire complaint below. WARNING: The complaint contains sexually explicit language.

Nungesser Filed Complaint

(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.