A Columbia University student accused of rape, by a fellow student who has been carrying a mattress in protest to the way the college has allegedly handled her case, is speaking out and sharing some interesting information.
Paul Nungesser from Columbia was accused of rape by Emma Sulkowicz, who vowed to carry the mattress where the act allegedly took place everywhere. In an extensive interview with Daily Beast, the man shared some intimate conversations the pair had on Facebook after the day in question.
Emma Sulkowicz, a senior visual arts student, made national news when she said she would carry the mattress with her in protest of how the school had handled the rape charges. However, in what seems to be a contradiction to her accusations, Nungesser says that she sent him a love note the day after the encounter, August 27, 2012.
On August 29, 2012, the woman who carries the mattress around campus to shame her alleged rapist said on a Facebook message, “I feel like we need to have some real time where we can talk about life and thingz because we still haven’t really had a paul-emma chill sesh since summmmerrrr.”
Nungesser says they exchanged a few more messages and he wished her a happy birthday later that summer, to which Sulkowicz responded, “I love you Paul. Where are you?!?!?”
The accused rapist says their interactions were “very amiable” and Sulkowicz’s behavior was no different from it had been in the past. She confirmed that the exchanges indeed took place to the New York Daily News.
Later on, Sulkowicz accused Nungesser of rape, stating the sexual encounter began consensually, but turned violent. However, he disputes the charges, saying the entire meeting was consensual and has proof that everything was normal afterwards, as shown by a Facebook message in which he invited Sulkowicz to a party two days later and she accepted.
Sulkowicz claims that she did not report the rape to the University at first, because she was embarrassed and when she finally had the courage to come forward, Columbia declared Nungesser was “not responsible” for her alleged rape.
Paul Nungesser’s name was put in the public record, when Sulkowicz filed a police report in May of 2014. However, she did not pursue criminal charges. Instead, Sulkowicz began a campaign she dubbed “Carry That Weight,” for which she totes a dorm mattress around the Columbia University campus to shame Nungesser until he is expelled.
In a statement to the Daily News on Tuesday, Sulkowicz claims she remained in contact with her alleged rapists because she was confused.
“I reached out to Paul after he raped me. I wanted to talk with him. I wanted to continue our friendship and ‘talk things out.’ This is hard for anyone who hasn’t been raped by a close friend and lover to understand, but many people do not call the police after they have been raped.”
Nungesser believes Sulkowicz is trying to “bully him into leaving” Columbia University campus and says he has been harassed and has received threats on social media. But Sulkowicz has criticized the reporter who spoke to Nungesser and published the article on the Daily Beast, Cathy Young, as “extremely anti-feminist” and says she has been outspoken against rape victims in the past.
The Washington Post reports Sulkowiz told the online publication Mic — which argues that there is no “perfect victim” when it comes to rape — that “Young has written other articles supporting the rapists and making survivors look unreliable.” Additionally, the Columbia University, mattress-carrying rape accuser says that there is no “right way” to react or behave after an attack such as the one she suffered.
[Image via Twitter]