NEW YORK — On Wednesday, a lawyer for Donald Trump stated that he would try to dismiss a lawsuit filed by a woman who claims that the former president raped her in the 1990s by arguing that New York’s Adult Survivors Act is unconstitutional; however, a judge indicated that he is not inclined to throw out the case. The judge suggested that he was not inclined to dismiss the case.
E. Jean Carroll, a writer who claims that Trump raped her in a Manhattan department store decades ago, has filed a lawsuit against Trump, and lawyers for both parties appeared in federal court in Manhattan today to argue their cases. She filed a new suit against Trump when New York passed the Adult Survivors Act. This law allows victims of sexual assault two years to sue over past assaults, even though the statute of limitations would have previously prevented them from doing so.
Michael T. Madaio, who represents Donald Trump in legal matters, stated that there is “a major question here as to whether the Adult Survivors Act is constitutional.” In response to the defense attorney’s suggestion that they would file a motion to have the case thrown out, Judge Lewis Kaplan stated, “I wouldn’t bank on that.”
Before the new law was enacted, Carroll had already filed a lawsuit against Trump for defamation over statements the president had made in 2019 denying that the alleged incident had occurred. On Thanksgiving, the day the Adult Survivors Act was enacted, she initiated the new legal proceeding on the claimed occurrence. She also submitted a second claim for defamation, this time regarding statements that Trump made in October regarding her claims.
The judge questioned the attorney for Donald Trump as to why the Adult Survivors Act would be deemed unconstitutional given the Child Victims Act, an earlier law that allowed victims who were children at the time of the incident to suit years later, was upheld in court. According to Madaio, the act was unique since it addressed the concerns of a particular subgroup of vulnerable individuals.
Attorneys representing Carroll have expressed interest in trying the case in April, the month in which the initial defamation lawsuit was set to go to trial. The president’s legal team wants to postpone the trial until later in the year. Kaplan indicated that he would decide on the schedule later on Wednesday.
Additionally, attorneys representing the plaintiff are attempting to have the deposition that Donald Trump took about the case, which is now under seal, made public. Carroll spoke to the alleged rape in a dressing room at Bergdorf Goodman in her deposition, some of which were made public on Tuesday.
She explained that she had waited to speak out until 2019, when she published a book, because she was concerned about the stigma. “Women who have been raped are looked at as less in our society, are looked at as spoiled goods, and are looked at as rather dumb to let themselves get attacked,” she said. “In this society, women who have been raped are considered less.”
Since the attack, Carroll has stated that she cannot have intimate relationships with anyone. “There was no longer any light,” she explained.
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