A secretary who accused former US President Donald Trump of sexual assault has filed a second lawsuit against her just minutes after a new New York State law went into effect allowing victims of sexual assault to sue for crimes that happened decades ago.
E Jean Carroll’s complaint, filed in federal court in New York City, accuses Trump of battery, “when he forcibly raped her and held her” and defamation, citing an October post on her Truth Social website where she denied being raped.
Carroll sought unspecified damages and punitive damages for pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of dignity and damage to his reputation.
A longtime columnist for Elle magazine, Carroll first came forward about the rape in a 2019 book, saying Trump sexually assaulted her in the dressing room of a Manhattan luxury store in 1995 or 1996.
She brought the lawsuit under New York’s Adult Survivors Act, a new law that gives rape victims a one-year window to sue their abusers, even if the abuse happened long ago and the statute of limitations has expired.
Thursday, November 24 – Thanksgiving Day and a national holiday in the United States – was the first day that prosecutors could challenge. His lawyer filed legal documents electronically in the early hours of the day.
Mr Trump has denied he sexually assaulted Carroll or knew him at the time, saying it was “not my type”.
His initial refusal in June 2019 led to him suing for defamation five months later, but the case is tied up in the appeals courts as judges decide whether Trump is protected for statements made while he was president.
He repeated the denial in an October 12 post on his Social Truth blog, calling Carroll’s claims a “hoax” and a “lie,” prompting derision.
Mr. Trump said in his statement that Carroll “wrote the story that I met him at the entrance of a New York City mall and, within minutes, I “knocked him out”. It is false and false, just like all the other hoaxes that have been played on me over the years. the last seven.
Both sides are awaiting appeals court rulings on Trump’s claim that the president is immune.
Carroll’s new suit covered the issue, because Trump was no longer a moderate president in October.
If the courts decide that Trump’s initial disparagement of Carroll’s alleged sexual assault was part of his job as president, they would be barred from suing him for it, as government employees are protected from defamation. No such defense can affect what he did before he became president.
Judge Lewis A Kaplan, who is presiding over Carroll’s defamation lawsuit filed three years ago, may decide to include the allegations in a possible trial this spring.
The first trial was scheduled for February 6, 2023, before Kaplan in Manhattan, but is expected to be delayed due to an appeal.
At Tuesday’s hearing, Carroll’s attorney, Roberta Kaplan, requested that the April 10 hearing be held for both cases, saying they are closely related.
Trump’s attorney Alina Habba requested that the May 8 hearing be held on the first charge only. He also told the judge that the long delay was understandable because Trump had not hired a lawyer for the second trial.
“Your client in this case, Ms. Habba, has known this was coming for several months, and has been advised to choose who to represent her,” the judge said.
Judge Kaplan said he could decide as early as next week how to handle both cases.
Previously, Carroll had been barred by state law from filing a rape case because it had been going on for years.
New York’s new law, however, gives sex offenders who missed deadlines related to the statute of limitations a second chance to file charges. The window for such suits will be open for one year, after which the regular time limit will be restored.
Hundreds of lawsuits are expected, including many filed by women who say they were assaulted by co-workers, prison guards, medical personnel or others.