Columnist who accused Trump of 90s rape plans new trial under New York ‘survivor law’

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E. Jean Carroll, who says President Donald Trump raped her in the 1990s, is leaving Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s US courthouse after a hearing in her defamation lawsuit against Trump, Wednesday, October 21, 2020 in New York.

NEW YORK — A writer who accused former President Donald Trump of raping her in a department store locker room plans to file a new lawsuit against him under a new New York law indicting victims of sexual assault for attacks that took place decades ago.

A lawyer for the columnist, E. Jean Carroll, notified a federal judge of her intention to file a lawsuit in an August letter entered on the public record on Tuesday. The suit would claim sexual battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

In the letter, attorney Roberta Kaplan also said she plans to impeach Trump over the defamation lawsuit Carroll had already brought against the former president. The impeachment is scheduled to take place before October 19, when the discovery in the case is due for a scheduled trial in February.

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Trump’s attorney Alina Habba did not immediately respond to a request for comment. In an August 11 letter to the court that was also placed in the public file on Tuesday, she objected to the new lawsuit.

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Habba wrote that allowing Carroll to file the new claim now would be “extremely disadvantageous” to Trump, given the looming trial deadlines in the defamation case.

“If Plaintiff were to drastically change the scope and subject matter of this case at that time, it would seriously harm Defendant’s rights. Therefore, the claimant’s request must be disregarded in its entirety,” Habba said.

Kaplan declined to comment.

Carroll, a former advice columnist for Elle magazine, wrote in a 2019 book that Trump raped her during a chance encounter at a Bergdorf Goodman store in the mid-1990s. Trump denied it, questioning Carroll’s credibility and motivations.

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Because the alleged attack happened so long ago, Carroll would normally have missed the legal deadlines to indict Trump. So she instead sued him for defamation, saying that he had tarnished her reputation while denying the rape allegation.

Last spring, however, New York lawmakers passed the Adult Survivor’s Act, which provides for a one-year “lookback” that allows adult survivors of sexual assaults to file civil claims when they would otherwise be barred.

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The law, signed by Governor Kathy Hochul in May, was modeled on the Child Victims Act, which provided a similar window to bring lawsuits against people who had been sexually abused when they were children. That law expired a year ago.

For a statement, Trump would have to answer questions under oath from Carroll’s lawyers about her allegations. Carroll’s legal team had said in February it was willing to skip a statement to speed up the trial. Kaplan said in her letter to the court that she now had to question Trump because his lawyers had handed over so few documents relevant to the case.

In her letter to the court, Habba made no mention of plans to impeach Trump, but she did complain that Kaplan’s letter was “full of misrepresentations and inflammatory statements.”

If you are a sexual assault survivor, you can call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800-656-HOPE (4673) or visit hotline.rainn.org/online and receive confidential support.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Writer who accused Trump of rape to prosecute under NY’s new ‘survivors’ law

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