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Columbia Settles With Man Accused in Mattress Case

July 14, 2017
 
 

Columbia University has reached a settlement with the man Emma Sulkowicz accused of raping her, The Washington Post reported. Sulkowicz became known as "mattress girl" when she carried a mattress around campus during the 2014-15 academic year to protest what she said was Columbia's failure to find Paul Nungesser guilty of sexual assault -- a charge he denied and of which the university cleared him. Local police also declined to charge him. He sued the university, saying it tolerated harassment of him -- in the form of all the attention the mattress protest drew -- on the basis of his being male.

Details of the settlement were not released, but Columbia issued a statement in which it affirmed its findings about Nungesser, saying that he was cleared “after a diligent and thorough investigation. Columbia University stands by that finding.” The statement added, “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 community.”

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