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Columbia University student sues over claim of uninvestigated rapes

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Tim Fleischer has the latest details.

A Columbia University student has filed a lawsuit against the Ivy League school, claiming she was raped on two separate occasions in her dorm room and that the school failed to protect her as she was harassed afterwards.

Amelia Roskin-Frazee said she is coming forward because she is angry with the university, and she is using the civil lawsuit as retribution.

"I felt ashamed of it," she said. "I felt like it was my fault, because why would he target me?"

The horror of that night came just months after she enrolled in 2015 as a freshman at Columbia, when she said she was raped in her dorm room in Hartley Hall by an unknown male.

"I was scared that because I couldn't identify him," she said. "Columbia wouldn't investigate."

She now claims in a Title IX lawsuit that Columbia failed in its support of her, and for more than a year did not investigate the rape and a second sexual assault in the same dorm room two months later.

"Columbia, by consistently failing to protect and support me, has given me no other choice than to do what I am doing today," she said.

Columbia responded with the following written statement:

"The university does not comment on pending litigation, nor do we publicly discuss the details of specific complaints of gender-based misconduct because of our legal and ethical commitment to protecting the privacy of all students. None of this diminishes the deep concern we feel about any allegation of assault on our campuses. In recent years, the University has added experienced and highly skilled personnel to our Gender-Based Misconduct Office; enhanced the resources, education, and training available for the prevention of and response to sexual assault; and strengthened our gender-based misconduct policy, recognized as a model by many other universities."

Columbia garnered attention in late 2014 when then-student Emma Sulkowicz carried around her dorm mattress as a protest against the university for not expelling her alleged rapist. She has since graduated.

"The callousness, the indifference to a victim of rape is just unbelievable," attorney Alex Zalkin said.

Frustrated, Roskin-Frazee has since filed reports with the NYPD.

"My complaint is just one example of the larger issue of schools mistreating survivors of violence," she said.

The Manhattan District Attorney's Office declined to comment.
Related Topics:
newsrapesex assaultcolumbia universityNew York CityMorningside Heights

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