If there's one thing we know for a fact about Paul Nungesser — the man accused of raping Emma Sulkowicz — it's that he picked the wrong friends at Columbia University.
After Reason editor Cathy Young blew the lid off of Sulkowicz's story simply by telling Nungesser's side and presenting evidence — a novel reporting tactic — Jezebel thought it could close the story by presenting an as yet unreported accuser of Nungesser who was a friend of Sulkowicz's and a man.
But, as with Sulkowicz and her two other friends who reported Nungesser after talking to each other, the latest accuser, known only as "Adam," has lost his case. Columbia University yet again — and in the face of media pressure to condemn Nungesser based solely on accusations — found him "not responsible." And Adam's story is even easier to pick apart than Sulkowicz's. From Young:
The gist of the complaint was that in November 2011, Adam, who lived in the same dorm as Nungesser and was part of the same social circle, went to Nungesser's room to tell him he was upset about being 'caught in the middle' of relationship drama between Nungesser and his then-girlfriend. (This girlfriend later became one of Nungesser's accusers, known in several media accounts under the pseudonym 'Natalie'; she claimed that Nungesser had psychologically and sexually abused her throughout their relationship. The case was eventually closed after she stopped cooperating.)
According to Adam, during this conversation, Nungesser asked him to sit on the bed, rubbed his shoulder and back, then 'gently' pushed him down and proceeded to stroke his leg and finally massage his crotch 'for approximately 2-3 minutes' while Adam froze in shock. He was finally able to muster the will to get up and leave.
Adam told investigators that he spoke to Nungesser's girlfriend about this; however, he didn't seem to remember when, or what her reaction was. At one point, he said that he 'assumed' he had told her immediately afterward, and 'it wasn't until months later that I realized that I had not and she was unaware.' He also claimed that he avoided Nungesser after the alleged assault, and that Nungesser eventually texted him and then messaged him on Facebook; according to him, Nungesser was upset with him for telling Natalie about their sexual contact, but also suggested that they get together for coffee.
Nungesser's story was quite different. He said that he confided in Adam about his and Natalie's relationship troubles, that there was no sexual contact of any kind, and that later on he was dismayed to learn that Adam had recounted their conversation to Natalie.
The Facebook exchange, which Adam himself eventually found and turned over to the investigators, did not exactly help his story. Far from showing avoidance of Nungesser, it showed Adam seeking him out, complaining that 'our friendship has been negatively affected' by Nungesser's relationship problems and that 'we're less close/you're preferring it that way.' It also showed Nungesser saying, 'It was obviously pretty hard for me when I found out that you shared my entire conversation that I had with you with [Natalie], because I had assumed that it was confidential.'
The investigators' report noted numerous contradictions in Adam's account, as well as its drastic discrepancy with the Facebook record; Nungesser's account, on the other hand, was not only consistent but matched by corroborative evidence. Adam's credibility was further sunk by his rather fanciful complaints of 'retaliation' by Nungesser in a class they shared. These 'deliberately aggressive acts' consisted of sitting too close to Adam or to his friends, which left Adam 'distraught and traumatized,' and complimenting some points Adam had made in a class discussion (which 'felt like he was claiming a collective sense of power'). I am happy to report that, even on the trauma-happy modern campus, such claims of harassment are still recognized as, in the words of the report, 'hyperbolic and illogical.'
You should really read Young's full article, which includes an explanation of how four friends could end up accusing a man of sexual assault without being overly vindictive.