E. Jean Carroll’s Lawsuit Accusing Trump of Rape Can Proceed, Judge Rules

A federal judge on Friday rejected former President Donald J. Trump’s attempt to dismiss a lawsuit in which writer E. Jean Carroll accuses Trump of raping her in a dressing room at a Fifth Avenue department store in mid-April. 1990’s.

In letting the lawsuit proceed, Judge Lewis A. Kaplan of the Federal District Court for Manhattan upheld a 2022 New York law that gives adults who claim they were sexually assaulted years ago a single window prosecute those who say they abused them, even though the deadline to do so under the statute of limitations has long since expired.

In his decision, which the state Senate’s top sponsor of the bill described as the first in New York, Judge Kaplan called Trump’s argument that the legislation violated the state’s constitution “absurd.”

Mrs. Carroll, author and former longtime Elle columnist, sued Mr. Trump on November 24the beginning of the period when the law, the Adult Survivors Act, allows the filing of these actions.

Trump’s lawyers, who denied Carroll’s charge, sought to dismiss the lawsuit on the grounds that allowing actions that would otherwise be barred by the statute of limitations was a violation of a person’s right to due process and, therefore, a violation of the New York Constitution.

Judge Kaplan, in his 28-page opinion, said the fact that adult victims of sexual abuse “are legally and in some respects practically capable” of bringing a lawsuit from the moment the abuse occurs is “constitutionally immaterial”. ”.

“The elected branches of the New York State government have determined that many of these victims are unable to do so, sometimes for extended periods of time,” the judge wrote.

“They are held back by suppression of terrible memories or deterred by fear and a ‘culture of silence’ – just like Ms. Carroll claims that she was dissuaded from reporting or suing Mr. Trump,” added the judge.

Brad M. Hoylman, the state senator who sponsored the bill, welcomed the judge’s ruling.

“Judge Kaplan stated in no uncertain terms that the state Legislature was within its constitutional authority to allow survivors of sexual abuse to review their prescribed claims and seek justice against their abusers,” Hoylman said in a statement.

Trump’s attorney, Alina Habba, said in a statement that she and her client were “disappointed” by Judge Kaplan’s decision, but that they planned to “immediately appeal the order and continue to defend our client’s constitutionally protected rights.”

Roberta A. Kaplan, Carroll’s attorney, said in a statement that she and her client were “pleased but not surprised” by the judge’s decision.

Mrs. Kaplan said that she and Ms. Carroll, who sued Mr. Trump separately for libel, were looking forward to a trial in the sexual assault litigation. That trial is scheduled to begin in April. (Ms. Kaplan and the judge are not related.)

Judge Kaplan is also presiding over the defamation case. It, like the rape lawsuit, stems from Carroll’s assertion, made in a 2019 book and New York magazine excerpt, that Trump assaulted her in a dressing room at the upscale Bergdorf Goodman department store in the mid-1990s. nineteen ninety.

Carroll said Trump threw her against the wall, pulled down her tights, unzipped her pants and forced himself on her.

Mr. Trump said that Ms. Carroll was “totally lying” and that he never met her. He also said he couldn’t have raped her because she wasn’t his “type”.

Claiming Trump’s comments damaged his reputation, Carroll filed the defamation suit, which became embroiled in appellate litigation. Last October, after Judge Kaplan denied Mr. Trump to postpone his testimony in the defamation case until the appeal is resolved, Mr. Trump attacked Ms. Carroll in a social media post featuring the kinds of statements that originally led to her suing for defamation.

On Friday, Judge Kaplan ordered, over Trump’s objection, that some of the testimony be made public.

In the excerpt from the testimony, which was given on October 19 at Mar-a-Lago, Trump’s residence and private club in Florida, the former president repeats his denials of Carroll’s statement, calling it “crazy. ”

He reiterates his statement that Ms. Carroll is “not my type”, while saying that he knows doing so is not “politically correct” and calls Ms. Kaplan, the lawyer questioning him, of “disgrace” and “political operative”.

“I’m going to sue her after this is over, and that’s what I really hope to do,” Trump says of Carroll, adding of Kaplan: “And I’m going to sue you too.”

Trump also makes it clear in his testimony that he was unhappy with Judge Kaplan’s refusal to delay his testimony, calling the decision “somewhat negative.”

“He’s not my fan, obviously,” says Trump.