A ‘flurry’ of sexual assault lawsuits, including one by Trump rape accuser E. Jean Carroll, will be filed in New York

A ‘flurry’ of sexual assault lawsuits, including one by Trump rape accuser E. Jean Carroll, will be filed in New York

As New York’s Adult Survivors Act enters into force on Thursday, a “flurry” of sexual assault claims are anticipated to be filed, including a complaint by author E. Jean Carroll accusing former President Donald Trump of rape.

The bill, which was signed by Governor Kathy Hochul on May 24, permits adult survivors of sexual assault to bring action, even if their claims are past the statute of limitations, during a one-year “look-back window” that starts at midnight on Thanksgiving.

“The establishment of the ASA is a minor corrective to statute of limitation rules that have traditionally rewarded the strong and the predators,” said attorney Carrie Goldberg, who will take up at least a couple dozen cases.

Goldberg, who is collaborating on the cases with attorney Susan Crumiller, a personal friend and fellow survivor of sexual assault, stated that the opening of the window on Thanksgiving is “appropriate” for victims who are thankful to be able to seek justice in court.

She stated, “This law is the duty owed to victims.”

The attorneys representing E. Jean Carroll, a journalist for Elle magazine, announced last week that they will launch a battery complaint against Trump, 76, on Thursday under the new statute. In the early 1990s, Trump allegedly raped Carroll in a Bergdorf Goodman fitting room, according to the lawsuit.

Carroll has already filed a legal suit against Trump in federal court in Manhattan for allegedly defaming her when he dubbed her a liar and referred to her charges as “a tremendous con job.”

With the ASA, however, she will be able to sue the ex-president individually for the claimed attack, adding to the multitude of legal issues he is now entangled in.

The law is similar to the 2019 New York Child Victims Act, which likewise allowed survivors of childhood abuse to sue their abusers or the institutions that sheltered them, regardless of when the abuse happened.

In the 1990s, Carroll alleges Donald Trump assaulted her in a Bergdorf Goodman changing room.
AP

By August 2021, about 11,000 lawsuits had been brought statewide under the CVA, including suits against the Boy Scouts of America, pedophile millionaire Jeffrey Epstein, and the Catholic Church.

Hundreds of lawsuits are anticipated to be brought under the ASA on behalf of female detainees who allege they were sexually assaulted in state jails and prisons, according to attorneys Adam Slater and Ben Crump, who represent over 750 of these cases.

According to Senator Brad Hoylman, one of the ASA bill’s proponents, there is no limit on how much the state may have to pay out to victims, which may cost the state millions.

There was also no limit on how much the state may pay under the CVA, as several lawsuits were made against public schools due to allegations of child abuse by teachers and personnel.

Goldberg’s colleague Susan Crumiller remarked, “It’s unbelievable” that so few adult victims are aware of the ASA, and she observed that a large number of the lawsuits are from clients the pair previously had to reject due to the statute of limitations.

The legal team’s ASA cases include lawsuits filed by alleged victims of infamous producer Harvey Weinstein and by models alleging sexual assault in the fashion industry.

Sadie Bell stated that she intends to file a lawsuit against the jail officer who allegedly sexually molested her.

“The more we alter the culture, get informed on the intricacies of sex assault and consent, and stop humiliating victims, I believe more and more people will come forward,” Crumiller said.

A 41-year-old customer of theirs told The Post that she was the victim of a “serial harasser and assaulter” 10 years ago — a partner at a renowned legal firm who continues to practice. When she refused him, he allegedly terminated her employment.

The woman stated, “It killed me to know there was no justice and no retribution.” “This event was hardly a blip in his life.

“I had conditioned myself to live with the fact that I would never be able to receive any form of restitution,” she continued. “It is tremendously powerful to have the law’s renewed backing now.”

Crumiller stated that it is uncertain whether the lady would be among those filing a lawsuit on Thursday, since the company where she was dismissed has been trying to reach a settlement.

Jordan Merson, who represented Epstein victims under the CVA, stated that he will manage more than 10 ASA cases. He stated that the law represented an important “opportunity” for adult abuse survivors.

Merson stated, “The courthouse doors were locked for them for far too long.” Historically, the statute of limitations for these claims was one year… It was unjust.”

Even though their claims are past the statute of limitations, adult victims can now file a lawsuit in New York within one year.
AP

Merson emphasized an important distinction between lawsuits brought under the CVA and the ASA, namely that in circumstances of child sexual abuse, lack of permission is a legal presumption, but in adult cases, lack of consent must be proven.

Crumiller also noted that consent will be crucial in ASA situations.

“Everyone is always scared to put up these [adult] situations because it’s he-said, she-said,” she remarked, adding, “We don’t see that as a barrier.”

There was disagreement among attorneys over the number of ASA cases that will be brought in New York.

Attorney Lisa Coppola, who estimates she will handle tens of ASA cases, stated, “In terms of raw numbers, I believe we will see much, many more claims” because the age range for adults is so much wider than for children.

At a news announcement on the Adult Survivors Act on November 18, 2022, sex crimes attorney Carrie Goldberg wears a jacket embroidered with “Suing stalkers, pervs, trolls, and tech.”
AP

But attorney Cynthia LaFave, who predicts she will have hundreds of ASA cases, believes there will be considerably fewer since adults are more likely to disclose attacks to law authorities, whereas minors typically remained silent due to “forced” secrecy and terror.

LaFave stated that the ASA is “essential” for societal transformation.

State court system spokeswoman Lucian Chalfen stated that the New York legal system is prepared to handle any number of ASA cases that are brought.

Chalfen said in a statement, “While we anticipate a frenzy of files at the start, we are prepared and will allocate the cases to judges without delay.”

While there was much discussion of a deluge of Child Victims Act cases, less than 11,000 were submitted over the two-year span, according to Chalfen. If the Adult Survivors Act generates a significant number of files, we will make the necessary adjustments.

Hoylman, who co-sponsored the measure with Assembly Member Linda Rosenthal, stated, “It is appropriate that the Adult Survivors Act window opens on Thanksgiving Day.

“The public owes survivors of sexual assault appreciation for having the fortitude to file claims and for making our communities safer by identifying predators and the institutions that may have fostered them,” he stated.

Rosenthal continued, “The laws have for a long time safeguarded abusers and the institutions that housed them; on November 24, 2022, the ASA will alter this.”

 

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