By Lawsuit Informer
Last updated December 9, 2022
Writer and columnist E. Jean Carroll sues Trump in federal court for sexual assault and rape in the first degree—her second suit.
Roberta Kaplan, Carroll’s lawyer, filed the legal paper for the lawsuits electronically only minutes after the Adult Survivors Act was signed into law and took effect in New York lifting the deadlines (statutes of limitations) for filing sexual abuse and sexual assault cases.
This is ahead of the expected wave of thousands of lawsuits to be filed in New York after Governor Kathy Hochul signed the Adult Survivors Act into law.
It is expected that Carroll’s case against the former president under the New York law will become a major test for the Adult Survivors Act. It was passed in 2019 and gives survivors of sexual abuse and sexual assault a one-year look-back window, even after the limitations have passed.
The ultimate outcome of this case could provide a basis to determine how much power the act holds and how far its protections reach.
This new law not only lifts the statute of limitations but also gives sexual assault survivors a chance to get justice even after limitations have passed.
Carroll filed a lawsuit against Donald Trump in federal court in New York for battery, alleging that the former president “forcibly raped and groped” her in the 1990s inside a Bergdorf Goodman dressing room. The incident allegedly “severely injured Carroll, causing significant pain and suffering, lasting psychological harms, loss of dignity, and invasion of her privacy.”
Trump is being accused of rape in the first and third degree. The former president is also accused of sexual abuse in the first and third degree, sexual misconduct, and forcible touching. The court has been asked to award an unspecified amount in damages.
The new lawsuit also accuses Trump of defamation, after he made comments against Carroll on his Truth Social platform in October. These comments called her allegations “a Hoax and a lie.” This is separate from Carroll’s initial lawsuit accusing Trump of defamation, which was based on similar comments he made back in 2019.
E. Jean Carroll filed the lawsuit against Trump under New York’s Adult Survivors Act, which provides a one-year window, from November 24, 2022 to November 23, 2023, for adult survivors of sexual abuse and sexual assault to file litigation even after the statute of limitations has passesd.
Lawsuits under the act were also filed Thursday against JPMorgan Chase and Deutsche Bank by unnamed women who say they were abused by Jeffrey Epstein, accusing the banks of financially supporting “Epstein’s international sex trafficking organization”—Deutsche says the claims “lack merit,” the Wall Street Journal first reported (Forbes has contacted JPMorgan Chase for comment.)
Numerous sexual assault lawsuits were also filed under the act by women against large companies JPMorgan Chase and Deutsche Bank. The women who said they were abused by Jeffrey Epstein filed lawsuits alleging the banks were supporting “Epstein’s international sex trafficking organization” financially. Deutsche bank made a statement saying the women’s claims “lack merit,” as reported by the Wall Street Journal.
E. Jean Carroll’s first defamation lawsuit is currently set with a February trial date. But to accommodate the second case, the writer and her attorneys are asking that her new lawsuit under the same judge against former President Donald Trump be moved to a joint trial date on April 2023.
It is however still unknown if Carroll’s original case will go through at all. An appeals court in Washington D.C. is now looking at the issue of whether Trump, at the time of the alleged defamatory comments about the writer made in 2019, was acting within the scope of a president.
If Trump was acting as president when the comments in question were made, writer E. Jean Carroll’s case would be unsuccessful because she would be suing the United States government instead of suing Trump as an individual. The U.S. cannot be sued for defamation.
A DC appellate court will still decide whether the comments mentioned can be classified as an official duty.
Trump denied all allegations made by Carroll against him. Saying Carroll “completely made up a story that I met her at the doors of this crowded New York City Department Store and, within minutes, ‘swooned’ her. It is a hoax and a lie, just like all the other hoaxes that have been played on me for the past seven years.”
He filed a countersuit, alleging that the writer made “baseless” accusations against him, but was unsuccessful.
“While I respect and admire individuals that come forward, this case is, unfortunately, an abuse of the purpose of this Act which creates a terrible precedent and runs the risk of delegitimizing the credibility of actual victims,” Trump’s lawyer, Alina Habba, said to the Associated Press.
Carroll is being represented by Roberta A. Kaplan, Elizabeth S. Morrison, and Talcott Camp of the law firm Kaplan Hecker & Fink LLP in New York City and Bruce L. Udolf of the Udolf Law Firm in Boca Raton, Florida, who are seeking an unspecified amount in damages.
Regardless of the outcome, Carroll’s case will stand to provide much-needed clarity on the extent of protection and accountability provided by the Adult Survivors Act.
This case also highlights the importance of holding powerful individuals accountable for any sexual misconduct they may have committed.
Carroll is sending a strong message that even the most powerful cannot get away with sexual misconduct, and her case stands to make history in this fight for justice. Her case could potentially serve as an example to countless survivors of sexual assault who have been victims of injustice.
No one should be exempt from accountability and all survivors deserve justice.
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