Columbia Student Accused of Rape Speaks Publicly for First Time

TIME

The Columbia University senior accused of rape by fellow student Emma Sulkowicz–who turned her protest against the school’s handling of the case into performance art that has gained national attention–spoke publicly for the first time Monday.

In an interview published by the New York Times, Paul Nungesser said, “People were like, maybe this is a misunderstanding. But the matter of the fact is it’s not a misunderstanding.”

Sulkowicz, who filed a Title IX complaint against Columbia in April, has said that in August 2012, Nungesser hit her, held her down and raped her. Two other students also brought sexual assault allegations against him. None of those allegations resulted in disciplinary action by Columbia against Nungesser.

Nungesser is a foreign student from Germany who will graduate in May. He insists that the sexual encounter he had with Sulkowicz was entirely consensual. “What was alleged was the most violent rape…

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