Jack Cocchiarella, the progressive Gen Z Democratic activist accused of sexual harassment, is now suing a Dartmouth College student for allegedly spreading rumors about sexual assaults online.
The lawsuit, filed in the United States District Court in Concord, targets Dartmouth student Nathan Kim. It claims Kim spread false stories online about Cocchiarella raping and assaulting several women on campus.
Cocchiarella, who has done paid political consulting for Democrats like Florida’s Charlie Crist and Georgia’s Marcus Flowers, has denied all accusations of any sexual impropriety. Cocchiarella further claims he has never been investigated by Dartmouth’s Title IX Office.
NHJournal spoke to one woman who said Cocchiarella sexually harassed her and inappropriately touched her. That incident resulted in Cocchiarella receiving a letter from Dartmouth’s Title IX Office laying out a disciplinary course of action and threatening further sanctions if Cocchiarella did not comply. The copy obtained by NHJournal included what appeared to be Cocchiarella’s signature.
As rumors about Cocchiarella swirled online last summer, the Dartmouth Democrats Twitter account published a tweet claiming Cocchiarella was kicked out of the club due to multiple allegations of sexual assault. That tweet was later taken down and the club issued a statement saying that it did not condone the use of the tweet. NHJournal contacted a source close to the situation who confirmed Cocchiarella was in fact kicked out over the accusations.
Kim’s attorney, Benjamin King of Concord-based Douglas, Leonard & Garvey, declined to comment on the specific allegations laid out in the lawsuit.
Cocchiarella’s lawsuit alleges Kim started an online harassment campaign using anonymous accounts on various social media platforms accusing Cocchiarella of rape as he was gaining fame for his progressive views.
“Kim individually and in concert with others has continued to propagate and publish the false statements and lies that Jack is a ‘rapist,’ ‘raped his classmates,’ ‘raped 6 women,’ ‘raped 8 women,’ ‘raped unconscious girls,’ and is ‘getting away with rape,’” the lawsuit states.
The negative attention stirred by Kim’s posts has threatened Cocchiarella’s lucrative political career, tarnished his reputation as he transfers to Columbia University, and even caused threats according to the lawsuit.
“To this day, Jack lives in fear for his life and safety as a result of the false statements and lies being spread by Kim,” the lawsuit states.
Cocchiarella’s attorney, Susan Stone, told NHJournal in August her client is innocent of any sexual violence.
“To be clear, Jack has never been accused of sexual assault, and he has never been the subject of a criminal or Title IX campus investigation,” Stone wrote in a letter to NHJournal. “He vehemently denies that he was subject to those allegations.”
The lawsuit claims Kim’s harassment started after Cocchiarella confronted Congressman Madison Cawthorn when the North Carolina Republican made an appearance at Dartmouth College along with Republican congressional candidate Karoline Leavitt.
Cocchiarella’s video of his confrontation with Cawthorn went viral and helped propel Cocchiarella into becoming a progressive influencer. According to a report in the Free Beacon, Crist’s campaign has since paid Cocchiarella’s firm $2,250 for digital consulting. His firm got another $40,000 from the Flowers’ campaign.
Cocchiarella also appeared on a YouTube television show for the Lincoln Project, the anti-Trump political action committee founded by alleged sexual predator John Weaver. Cocchiarella was on the show to plug his own political podcast, Zoomed In.
The alleged victim who spoke to NHJournal said Cocchiarella used his status as a male feminist and progressive to ingratiate himself to her. His behavior deteriorated over a few weeks into stalking-type behavior and included unwanted touching.
“What was scary is he said a lot of really misogynistic things,” she said.
The woman told NHJournal she was shocked by Cocchiarella’s online persona as a feminist ally and progressive fighter when she feared him.
“How does he have this platform as a feminist?” she said.