Ming DeMers/Sun Senior Photographer

Getulio Gonzalez-Mulattieri '25, a 35-year-old Student Assembly presidential candidate, has been accused of unwanted advances by several first-year students.

April 24, 2024

First-Year Women Accuse Student Assembly Presidential Candidate of Harassment

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Editor’s Note: The freshman women interviewed for this article have been given pseudonyms to protect their identities. In requesting anonymity for this story, they cited a fear of retaliation.

He’s a well-known community activist and U.S. Air Force veteran attending Cornell as an undergraduate in his mid-thirties — and he’s a real contender to win his bid for Student Assembly president. His name is Getulio Gonzalez-Mulattieri ’25, and he’s running to build “a more just, compassionate campus,” according to his candidate profile. 

But his campaign promise contrasts with his history of alleged harassment, according to four first-year women. The young women told The Sun that he has made a series of unwanted and inappropriate advances at them — often in intimate, isolated settings — including making suggestive comments and, in one instance, showing up at a place of work to confront one of them after she had attempted to distance herself from him. 

In some cases, he was persistent even after being rebuffed, the women said. The women, who all come from minority backgrounds, said that Gonzalez-Mulattieri has demonstrated a pattern of targeting women of color in particular. 

One first-year woman said that if Gonzalez-Mulattieri, who turns 36 on Friday, wins the Student Assembly presidency, she would feel “sick.”

In response to these allegations, Gonzalez-Mulattieri said that he is “extremely friendly” and that his “intention was never to make anyone feel uncomfortable.”

“I apologize for any misinterpretation of my actions,” he added.

Naomi’s Story

Last semester, a newly turned 18-year-old in the Brooks School of Public Policy was enrolled in two classes with Gonzalez-Mulattieri. This article, for reasons of privacy and security, will refer to her by the pseudonym Naomi. Naomi told The Sun that she generally tries to maintain a friendly demeanor and, at first, extended that to Gonzalez-Mulattieri. She would talk to him and others in her class cordially, she said, and once gave him a fist-bump while parting ways. 

After an evening academic event on Sept. 7, days after the fist-bump, she said, Gonzalez-Mulattieri offered her a ride back to her dorm on North Campus. It was dark and raining outside, so she agreed, “against my better judgment.” Before he began to drive, Gonzalez-Mulattieri allegedly turned to Naomi and asked if she “felt something between us” during the fist-bump days earlier. 

Naomi, who said she was deeply uncomfortable in that one-on-one situation, told Gonzalez-Mulattieri that she had a partner. She remembered that a tense, awkward silence ensued. When Gonzalez-Mulattieri took two wrong turns on the way to North Campus, “my heart dropped,” she said. “I don’t know what his intentions were in that moment.” Gonzalez-Mulattieri eventually brought her back to her dorm, she said. Gonzalez-Mulattieri said he did not recall this interaction. 

Naomi said that she was so put off by the car ride that, to the extent possible, she cut Gonzalez-Mulattieri out of her life (they are in the same college and are enrolled in two classes together this semester). Months after the incident, on Feb. 1, Gonzalez-Mulattieri sent Naomi text messages unexpectedly. 

“Hey, I honestly don’t know what I did to warrant any animosity from you last semester,” one of the messages from Gonzalez-Mulattieri obtained by The Sun reads. In another he said, “If I wronged you in some way I’m open to hearing how and I’d like to apologize pre-emptively. But beyond that I have a clear conscience and will continue acting as such.” 

Naomi responded to the message, which she said was sent after she avoided talking to him the day before. “[Y]our inappropriate behavior towards the girls at brooks has caused us ALL to naturally distance ourselves from you,” an excerpt of Naomi’s message read. “I’d like to remind you we are newly turned 18 year olds and your advances are very unnerving.”

“To my knowledge, I haven’t said or done anything inappropriate. Either way, I’ve gotten the message loud and clear, and I apologize for anything I may have done that’s escaped my notice,” an excerpt of Gonzalez-Mulattieri’s response read. “I won’t be interacting with you all any further.” 

Two days later, on Feb. 3, Gonzalez-Mulattieri allegedly approached another first-year student, referred to in this piece as Sarah, at her place of work, a campus coffee shop. Sarah said she had never seen Gonzalez-Mulattieri there before, despite having often worked the same shift. Gonzalez-Mulattieri approached Sarah and asked if she was mad at him, she said. Immediately following the interaction, Sarah texted her friends that she was “scared.” Gonzalez-Mulattieri said it was a “possibility” that this interaction occurred.

Sarah’s Story

Sarah, then an 18-year-old in the Brooks School, also met Gonzalez-Mulattieri in a policy class. In the beginning of the fall semester, Sarah said, Gonzalez-Mulattieri glanced at her computer screensaver and caught sight of a photograph of Rihanna in a bra and underwear. Sarah said he asked if the photo was of her.

After Sarah told him that it was the pop singer, Gonzalez-Mulattieri allegedly said the photo “could be” her, looking her up and down “in a way that seemed sexual, like it was implying something,” she said. Gonzalez-Mulattieri continued on, saying he “thought that was you,” Sarah alleged. Gonzalez-Mulattieri denied comparing a student to a revealing photograph of Rihanna.

One October evening, Gonzalez-Mulattieri drove Sarah and a friend, who also spoke to The Sun, to their dorm after class. The two freshmen said Gonzalez-Mulattieri invited them to a “champagne and shackles” fraternity date night, during which participants are typically joined together with zip-tie handcuffs until they finish a bottle of champagne. Gonzalez-Mulattieri told the students they would have to drink most of the bottle, Sarah said.

After the women said they did not want to attend, Gonzalez-Mulattieri allegedly kept persisting, a common tactic he used when women she knew turned him away, Sarah said. 

Gonzalez-Mulattieri said that he invited the young women to the fraternity event as friends, though he admitted that all other pairs at the event were romantic couples. He said that drinking was not required for the event and denied telling the women they had to drink more than he would.

On Oct. 30, Gonzalez-Mulattieri replied to a photo on Sarah’s Instagram story — a selfie of her with cleavage showing. He sent a heart-eyes emoji, to which Sarah did not respond. Gonzalez-Mulattieri said he “sends everybody hearts” on Instagram.

After Sarah expressed her worry about these incidents to her boyfriend at the time, he sent Gonzalez-Mulattieri an Instagram direct message on Oct. 31 at 1:28 a.m., reading in part: “I’ve heard some complaints around the campus that you’ve been bothering freshman who are clearly a little too young for you!” the message read. “If you don’t stop, the Cornell admin WILL have to be involved. On that note stay safe and stop trying to get with little girls!” Gonzalez-Mulattieri read the message but did not respond, instead blocking him on the platform. 

The next day, Gonzalez-Mulattieri posted a video on Instagram responding to “threats against [his] reputation or attempts at slander,” calling the threats “crimes” and saying that he is not intimidated.

At the end of the video, Gonzalez-Mulattieri said that he is “not going to stop posting about Gaza.” Gonzalez-Mulattieri said the video was mainly responding to people who called him antisemitic for his posts about the Israel-Hamas war. He claimed the message sent by Sarah’s boyfriend was a threat for his vocal activism, though the message contained no reference to Gonzalez-Mulattieri’s political views.

Julie’s Story

A third student, a then-17-year-old Brooks first-year who will be referred to as Julie, was enrolled in a small class with Gonzalez-Mulattieri. According to Julie, the two sat next to each other and would frequently discuss her high school accomplishments, with Gonzalez-Mulattieri calling her “so young” and “so ambitious” on multiple occasions. Gonzalez-Mulattieri said he was unaware of the ages of the young women with whom he associated last semester.

Julie said Gonzalez-Mulattieri would send her text messages during class that made her feel “unsettled.” During a fall lecture, Gonzalez-Mulattieri sent Julie a message that read, “You look nice.” In another lecture, Julie said she corrected a professor’s slide during a presentation, leading Gonzalez-Mulattieri to text her that she was “so bossy” and “It’s not an action, it’s the energy. Not complaining, btw.” After class, when she wore a shirt with the top two buttons undone, Gonzalez-Mulattieri made a sexually suggestive comment about her outfit, Julie said, an allegation that Gonzalez-Mulattieri denied.

Together with Naomi, Julie reported Gonzalez-Mulattieri’s behavior to a trusted Brooks School administrator on Sept. 28. The administrator provided them with resources and options to pursue conflict mediation or obtain a restraining order, but both of those options would necessitate meeting with Gonzalez-Mulattieri in person, Julie said, which they did not want to do.

“It is undeniable that both of us have told him directly, in front of other people and privately, that we do not wish to speak to him. And that is how we would like to resolve this conflict,” Julie said.

In mid-October, a couple of weeks after Julie said she told Gonzalez-Mulattieri to stay away from her, she sat at a two-person table at Morrison Dining, placing her bag on a seat before heading to a food line, she said. To her surprise, she said, she returned to see Gonzalez-Mulattieri, whom she had not invited, settling in at the same table. Upon seeing Gonzalez-Mulattieri walking off to get his meal, Julie said she felt “panicked” and quickly moved her items to a different location. When Gonzalez-Mulattieri returned to the table and noticed she had moved, Julie said she watched him immediately leave the dining hall.

Just a few weeks ago, Julie and a friend, who did not wish to be interviewed, were discussing Gonzalez-Mulattieri’s presidential run, their discomfort with him and the potential he has to obtain a high position of power on campus. An acquaintance, who was in the room during their discussion, told Gonzalez-Mulattieri after the fact about the conversation, leading to repeated phone calls from the S.A. presidential candidate to Julie and her friend, which they did not answer. Text messages from the acquaintance to Julie said that Gonzalez-Mulattieri was extremely angered to hear their comments, dismissing the women as “privileged.” 

Less than a week ago, Gonzalez-Mulattieri allegedly followed Julie into Morrison Dining, but as soon as she greeted a male friend, Gonzalez-Mulattieri left the dining hall, she said.

Gonzalez-Mulattieri denied following or approaching any young women at dining halls.

“I never intended to make anyone feel uncomfortable. I think I’ve been the most vocal when it comes to telling people that if there’s any moment when I make them feel uncomfortable, please let me know,” Gonzalez-Mulattieri said. “That said, it’s a small group, and as soon as I understood that they were feeling that way, I stepped away.”

Five first-years students — including Naomi, Sarah and Julie — sent an email to a Brooks School administrator on April 10 explaining that the nearly 36-year-old man had “routinely harassed our small group with unwanted advances.” Julie told her resident advisor about Gonzalez-Mulattieri’s alleged harassing behavior on April 11, and the R.A. filed a referral to the Title IX office, she said.

“He doesn’t respect boundaries,” Sarah said. “It’s not that he doesn’t understand them. He fully understands boundaries, but he still wants to push past them because he doesn’t respect the individual.” 

Sarah told The Sun that over the course of several months, she and the other women were “trauma bonded” by shared experiences with Gonzalez-Mulattieri. 

Gabriel Levin ’26 contributed reporting.