Politico

Trump lawyers target Adult Survivors Act in attempt to invalidate rape lawsuit

NEW YORK — A lawyer for Donald Trump said Wednesday he will try to dismiss a lawsuit by a woman alleging the former president raped her in the 1990s by arguing New York’s Adult Survivors Act is unconstitutional, but a judge suggested he is not inclined to throw out the case.

Lawyers appeared in federal court in Manhattan in a lawsuit brought by E. Jean Carroll, a writer who says that Trump raped her in a Manhattan department store decades ago. She brought a new suit against Trump after New York passed the Adult Survivors Act, which gives victims of sexual assault two years to sue over past assaults that would previously have been barred by the statute of limitations.

“There’s a serious question here as to whether the Adult Survivors Act is constitutional,” said Trump’s lawyer, Michael T. Madaio.

When the defense attorney mentioned a motion to get the case dismissed, Judge Lewis Kaplan responded, “I wouldn’t count on that.”

Before the new legislation passed, Carroll was suing Trump for defamation over statements he made in 2019 denying the alleged attack. She filed the new suit over the alleged incident on Thanksgiving, when the Adult Survivors Act took effect. She also added a new defamation claim, over statements Trump made this October about her claims.

The judge asked the Trump attorney why the Adult Survivors Act would be unconstitutional when the Child Victims Act, a previous law allowing victims who were kids at the time to sue years later, held up in court. Madaio said that legislation was different because it dealt with a specific subset of vulnerable people.

Attorneys for Carroll want to bring the case to trial in April, when the original defamation suit was scheduled to be tried. Trump’s lawyers want to push it back to later in the year. Kaplan said he would decide on a schedule later Wednesday.

Lawyers for the plaintiff are also pushing to release the deposition Trump gave in the case, which is currently sealed.

In her own deposition, excerpts of which were released Tuesday, Carroll discussed the alleged rape in a dressing room at Bergdorf Goodman.

She said she had not spoken out until publishing a book in 2019 because she worried about the stigma. “Women who have been raped are looked at in this society as less, are looked at as spoiled goods, are looked at as rather dumb to let themselves get attacked,” she said.

Carroll said she has not been able to have any romantic relationships since the attack. “The light had gone out,” she said.

Continue

About the author

Lisa

Leave a Comment