Title IX

“Rape Lawyer” wants colleges to stop holding sexual assault hearings

Columbia student Paul Nungesser, accused of rape by Emma Sulkowicz. (Damon Winter/The New York Times)

New York lawyer Andrew T. Miltenberg is gaining a reputation as “the rape lawyer” after lending legal advice to more than 60 male college students accused of sexual assaults on college campuses and filing six lawsuits across the country against schools for discriminating against them. Miltenberg told New York magazine that he thinks the hearings that many defendants are forced to go through after being accused of sexual assault are unfair to the accused and should be handled by police and the court system. “If something really bad happened that you need to report, the police should be to whom you report it,” he said. “And if it’s not bad enough to report to the police, then maybe it shouldn’t be reported.” Miltenberg is now hoping to successfully sue on the basis of Title IX gender discrimination, arguing that defendants’ rights are being violated by not being afforded due process, and to put an end to college sexual assault hearings. One of those lawsuits is against Columbia University on behalf of Paul Nungesser, the student made famous, or infamous, after being accused of sexual assault by Emma Sulkowicz, who proceeded to carry around campus the mattress where she says the assault took place. Columbia cleared Nungesser of wrongdoing, but Miltenberg is suing the school of allowing Sulkowicz to allegedly harass him.

Miltenberg, who prior to his role as “the rape lawyer,”mainly worked on business contracts, says he is not interested in the gender politics or feminist rhetoric surrounding sexual assault on campus; he merely has an interest in advocating for clients whom he thinks aren’t afforded due process. Still, he has found himself in the middle of a national debate over how sexual assault should be handled on campus amid growing concern that schools are too quick to act in punishing those who are accused.

Read the full story at New York.

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