Editor’s note: This article discusses and describes details of sexual assault.
Amelia Roskin-Frazee, CC ’19, has filed a lawsuit against the University alleging Title IX violations. In a press conference this morning, she and her lawyer, Alex Zalkin, described Columbia’s inaction and mishandling of a Gender-Based Misconduct complaint she filed last year.
Roskin-Frazee alleges she was raped twice in her dorm room in Hartley during her first semester at Columbia. At the time, the doors in Hartley did not automatically lock, and Roskin-Frazee’s suitemates would often leave the suite door unlocked, allowing the man whom Roskin-Frazee believes to be a student to enter her room on the occasions of the assaults. Immediately after the first assault, she called Columbia’s Sexual Violence Response hotline, but she was unable to speak with a trained representative until an hour after she called. She says that she was also not informed of her rights under federal law, and that she was told that she should go on birth control (despite her being gay). She reported her first assault twice–to her academic advisor and to Professor Suzanne Goldberg, the Executive Vice President of University Life–and they both failed to report Roskin-Frazee’s claim to the Office of Gender-Based Misconduct. The suit also claims she was assaulted again a few weeks later, as she was treated at St. Luke’s for injuries related to the rape. The school did not begin to investigate her claims until the next fall, and during their investigation of the incidents, Roskin-Frazee says that the school did not interview anyone or review security footage or swipe-in logs. The investigation concluded 26 days later, with the University claiming that they could find nothing.
Roskin-Frazee is suing Columbia for damages, punitive damages, and medical and psychological expenses. “To be blunt,” she said during the press conference, “I am suing Columbia because I’m angry. I’m angry that Columbia administrators declined to investigate my first rape in October 2015, ignored when I was beaten and sexually assaulted for a second time in December 2015, and still fail to provide me with sufficient and prompt accommodations.”
In the past, accused perpetrators (such as Paul Nungesser, CC ’15 and another male student who remained anonymous) have sued Columbia for supposed Title IX violations, but Roskin-Frazee is the first survivor of sexual assault to file a civil suit against the school in recent memory.
We will update this post with the full text of the civil suit soon. We have also reached out to the University, and they will be releasing an official statement shortly.
UPDATE, 2:12 pm: We have received a statement from the University; you can read it, as well as the press release, below the jump.
UPDATE, 3:08 pm: We have updated the post with text of the civil suit.
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.
The University’s annual report on gender-based misconduct prevention and response, along with our gender-based misconduct policy and a range of related resources, can be found at sexualrespect.columbia.edu.
You can read the press release in the photos below:
Here is the full suit:
Roskin Frazee v Columbia University by Bwog on Scribd
@Anonymous More fake news. These stories should not be published, let alone run away on national news outlets, until the claims have been proven and substantiated, and all sides have been interviewed and allowed to issue statements. Anyone can say anything. This is just bad journalism.
@ugh A student is suing Columbia. That is news.
@Anonymous This story has a rotten fish smell. Why did she not go the police? Why did she not go to the ER? Why can’t she remember one physical characteristic? Why are there no witnesses or video? She has been working on this since high school. I find it vey hard to believe a “rapist is running through the dorms and no one said anything.
@Paul She’s an awful person who’s comfortable perpetuating a lie.
@Anonymous “track” button
@Anonymous I don’t know why clicking track for this person highlights the other comments, b/c I wrote the other (supportive) comments and certainly didn’t write this shitty one above.
@All I'm saying is I have never met a girl with a hyphenated last name who wasn’t a total bitch. Food for thought.
@You mean to tell me a rapist is breaking into dorm rooms and committing aggravated forcible rape and aggravated battery with a weapon — offenses that can carry 20 year sentences in NY mind you — and Columbia covered it up — also a criminal offense?
Columbia is scummy, but to engage in a criminal conspiracy to obstruct justice? Not likely.
Something stinks about this. Either way, I really hope this young woman gets the help she deserves.
For the love of God, stay woke.
@Anonymous i love how your reaction is literally “it’s horrible so therefore it couldn’t have happened.” what kind of logic is that?
@don't be stupid That argument is ridiculous. Total straw man. It seems your reaction is literally “it’s horrible to be raped and lie about rape that it couldn’t have happened.” what kind of logic are you using?
Let’s look at this from a very basic criminal justice perspective.
Either she is lying or Columbia committed a very serious crime.
Case 1. Columbia committed a very serious crime by engaging in a multi departmental conspiracy involving multiple individuals in order to cover up an aggravated rape, aggravated sexual battery, and aggravated breaking and entering with a weapon.
Means: Columbia easily has the means. They employ all of the investigators and could have directed them to act in such a manner.
Opportunity: This girl came to them with an accusation, and CU reasonably had the chance to commit obstruction of justice.
Why would the university not want to investigate a violent criminal on campus given that they check tapes when a calculator is taken from Butler? Why would the individuals involved risk criminal prosecution for obstruction of justice? Why would the university risk its entire reputation given that there’s no way they could benefit from this? If your argument is “to preserve their rep,” then you’re a moron. Having a violent criminal raping people with a weapon on campus is infinitely worse for reputation.
Case 2: This girl has psychological issues. She already has claimed she’d been assaulted before. She comes to CU billing herself as an anti sexual assault and gender based misconduct crusader from day 1. While at CU, in order to further her career as an activist, she stages this crime herself using her own hair brush and scissors — twice going to St. Luke’s. Then, she complains to the title IX office knowing they’ll find nothing. Clearly no police report is filed because filing a false police report is a crime. Afterward, she sues CU for monetary gain and even more likely to make a name for herself given the meteoric rise of Emma Sulkowicz and Zoe Ridolfi-Star 3 years ago (who by the way are doing VERY well after graduation). All showing that CU and colleges in general have a severe sexual assault problem not investigating “REAL” (according to opposition) rape hitting all the markers — not asking for it (queer), not her fault (didn’t leave the door open) AND was FORCIBLY raped.
Means: Girl has scissors and a hair brush. Also has access to St. Luke’s and CU’s title IX office. Girl is also rich enough to afford the lawsuit.
Opportunity: Given current climate, a bombshell like this will easily make national news. Was definitely alone in her room and could have easily placed those notes on the bulletin board.
Motive: Further her career as an activist. Evidence: pre CU assault, member of NRT, article on Huff Po, rise of Emma Sulkowicz and Zoe Ridolfi Star.
Which is more likely? Lots more evidence for case 2 than case 1. Please don’t be an idiot.
@Anonymous She accused people in high school of rape.
@Anonymous No, she didn’t. She wrote about being assaulted before college. It nowhere says she accused people in high school of rape.
@don't be stupid so if she never accused anyone of rape (or assault), then how was she ever assaulted? No one did it, but she was assaulted? Something doesn’t add up. Stick to women’s studies plz.
@Anonymous She never accused people IN HIGH SCHOOL. Stick to learning how to read.
@Pragmatic Memer I will wait until I hear the other side and the court makes a decision before I consider buying pitchfork. Something about this story stinks.
@Anonymous Agree. Please lets do a story from the other side to be fair.
@both sides The ‘other side’ is right there … she’s suing the school, not her rapist. The school has responded. We have the other side, this is fair and balanced reporting.
@Anonymous As soon as I found out she is a member of no red tape and never once went to the police for anything, I knew there is a lot more to this story not being told.
@Anonymous You realize it’s actually possible for there to be NRT members who were assaulted, right? Also, she did go to the police, which is in multiple other articles, not like that should matter.
@Lo Who are you and why do you even feel entitled enough to judge her
@fk wallstreet gimme that endowment ca$h emma sulkowicz part 2
@Fact check “Roskin-Frazee is the first survivor of sexual assault to sue the school in recent memory.”
29 did in 2014, that one is still ongoing.
@Rachel Deal Hi! Technically, that filing was a Title IX complaint, not a civil suit. I’ve updated the post to specify this.