The DNAinfo archives brought to you by WNYC.
Read the press release here.

Columbia Student Who Says She Was Raped Twice on Campus Sues University

By Nicole Levy | March 22, 2017 2:47pm
 This is not the first time Columbia University has come under fire for allegedly mishandling sexual assault and rape claims.
This is not the first time Columbia University has come under fire for allegedly mishandling sexual assault and rape claims.
View Full Caption
Flickr/Walter Gobetz

UPPER WEST SIDE — A Columbia University student was belittled, ignored and told to consider transferring to another college after reporting to the school that that she had been raped on campus, she said in a lawsuit filed in federal court Tuesday.

Amelia Roskin-Frazee’s complaint, filed in Manhattan federal court, details what she calls a yearlong unwillingness by Columbia to address her first sexual assault on campus, after a man entered her unlocked dorm suite while she slept and raped her there on Oct. 5, 2015.

Soon after the attack, she made an appointment to address genital pain at Columbia Medical Services, where a practitioner told her that she "shouldn't have such rough sex again" and didn't probe the possibility of rape, according to the lawsuit.

During a call to Columbia's 24/7 sexual violence response hotline a week later, Roskin-Frazee was told she could report her incident to police and "should be on birth control," the lawsuit says.

Roskin-Frazee avoided reporting her rape to the NYPD because she was concerned it would become public knowledge, the lawsuit notes. When she did report her attacks to both her academic advisor and sexual assault intervention workers on campus, she said no one informed her of her right to a timely investigation or housing and academic accommodation under the college's own sexual misconduct policy. That policy, Title IX, is a federal statute that prohibits schools from receiving federal funds from discriminating on the basis of gender.

Additionally, no action was taken to increase the security of her dorm room, the suit states. Roskin-Frazee asked to transfer rooms, but school officials said her parents would have to be notified and she would be charged up to $500, according to the lawsuit.

In December 2015, Roskin-Frazee was raped a second time in her dorm room, the suit adds.

Columbia did not initiate an inquiry into her sexual assault claims until Sept. 8, 2016, but investigators failed to interview witnesses or review entry logs for her dorm building, the suit alleges.

Roskin-Frazee, an LGBTQ and anti-sexual violence advocate, has since written publicly about her experiences as a survivor.

This is not the first time that the Ivy League school has come under fire for its management of reported sexual assault on campus. In 2014, more than 23 students filed complaints with the Department of Education and the Office of Civil Rights over its treatment of sexual assault victims.

That September, Columbia student Emma Sulkowicz drew national attention to the issue by carrying around the mattress on which she said a fellow student had raped her. 

In a statement regarding the current lawsuit, Columbia spokesman Robert Hornsby said it is university policy to avoid commenting on pending litigation and discussing specific complaints to protect students' privacy.  

"None of this diminishes the deep concern we feel about any allegation of assault on our campuses," he added, listing the university's recently expanded resources for victims of sexual assault.