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E. Jean Carroll sues Trump under the New York Adult Survivors Act

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Writer and columnist E. Jean Carroll is suing former President Donald Trump for an alleged sexual assault in the 1990s, under a New York law that allows victims of sexual assault to file charges years later .

Carroll’s attorneys filed the lawsuit Thursday, minutes after the Adult Survivors Act went into effect. The law, which was signed by New York Governor Kathy Hochul (D) in late May, gives adult survivors of sexual assault up to a year to file a lawsuit, regardless of when the alleged violation occurred. happened.

Carroll, a longtime advice columnist for Elle magazine, claims that Trump raped her in a dressing room of a Manhattan luxury department store in the mid-1990s – an allegation Trump has denied.

The court filing Thursday said Carroll sued to “obtain compensation for his injuries and to demonstrate that even a man as powerful as Trump can be held accountable under the law.”

She is suing Trump for assault and defamation and seeking compensatory and punitive damages, saying the alleged sexual assault caused “significant pain and suffering, lasting psychological damage, loss of dignity, and injury to her.” private life”.

The trial was expected. Carroll said in court filings in September, in her separate pending defamation case against Trump, that she would file a lawsuit against the former president under the Adult Survivors Act “as soon as this law will allow us to do so”.

Carroll first recounted the alleged assault in a book in 2019. She was unable to press charges at the time because the statute of limitations had expired.

Trump, who has been accused of sexual assault by a slew of other women, responded to the allegations by saying Carroll was “totally lying” and that the reporter was “not my type.” Carroll then sued Trump for defamation.

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In court documents filed Thursday, Carroll claims Trump “forced her against a locker room wall, pinned her down with his shoulder, and raped her.” The lawsuit notes that, out of fear, Carroll had kept quiet about the incident for more than 20 years, before deciding it was time to speak out after the #MeToo movement galvanized survivors of sexual assaults in the around the world to share their stories.

In a statement on the retrial, Carroll’s attorney, Roberta Kaplan, said the writer “intends to hold Donald Trump accountable not only for defaming her, but also for sexually assaulting her, which he did years ago in a lodge at Bergdorf Goodman.”

“Thanksgiving Day was the very first day that Ms. Carroll could file a lawsuit under New York law, so our lawsuit was filed in court shortly after midnight.”

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Trump’s lawyer, Alina Habba, dismissed the allegations on Thursday.

“While I respect and admire the people who come forward, this case is unfortunately an abuse of the intent of this law that sets a terrible precedent and risks delegitimizing the credibility of actual victims,” Habba told The Associated Press. .

Representatives for Carroll have sought to merge the defamation lawsuit with Thursday’s retrial under the Adult Survivors Act, though Trump’s legal team has argued the move would be prejudicial.

The Adult Survivors Act is modeled after New York’s Child Victims Act, which was signed into law in 2019 and provided a similar opportunity for survivors of child sexual abuse to sue their alleged abusers.

A flurry of lawsuits are expected to be filed under the new law, which supporters say offers survivors the chance to hold their abusers accountable – even if a significant period of time has passed since the alleged incident,

Shayna Jacobs contributed to this report.

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