Trump rape accuser to sue him for battery under New York’s Survivors Act, judge says

Trump rape accuser to sue him for battery under New York’s Survivors Act, judge says

(Bloomberg) — The New York author who claims Donald Trump raped her in the 1990s filed a public copy of a battery lawsuit she plans to file against him next week, adding a new legal threat to the former president days after announced his third run for the White House.

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E. Jean Carroll, a former advice columnist for Elle magazine, will file the lawsuit Nov. 24 — the day a new state law temporarily tolls the statute of limitations on civil sex-offense lawsuits goes into effect, the attorney said in a deposition Thursday in Manhattan federal court.

The new complaint, based on New York’s Adult Survivors Act, will complement Carroll’s claim as one of the first tests of the law, which was passed by New York lawmakers in the wake of the “Me Too” movement. Trump has strongly denied attacking Carroll or touching her in any way.

The alleged assault caused Carol “significant pain and suffering, permanent psychological harm, loss of dignity and invasion of her privacy,” her attorney Roberta Kaplan wrote in the planned complaint.

Carroll went public with her rape claim in a 2019 New York magazine article detailing how Trump allegedly sexually assaulted her after they bumped into each other while shopping in Manhattan. She then sued Trump for defamation after he publicly accused her of fabricating the attack to sell a “crimson book” he had written and otherwise defamed her character.

In Thursday’s filing, Carroll asked the judge overseeing her defamation lawsuit to also handle the battery complaint and combine both cases for a joint trial in April. Carroll included the new complaint as a preview for the judge as part of her request. Only the defamation case has gone to trial in February.

Trump’s lawyer, Alina Haba, said the early release of the battery complaint was “typical gamesmanship” by Carroll’s legal team.

“This testimony is completely inappropriate and we will take this matter up in court,” Habba said in a statement.

The battery complaint revisits disturbing details from the alleged assault, which Carroll says unfolded after she and Trump joked that one of them tried on a bodysuit while browsing an empty lingerie store.

“About 27 years ago, a playful pun at the luxury department store Bergdorf Goodman on New York’s Fifth Avenue took a dark turn when defendant Donald J. Trump grabbed plaintiff E. Jean Carroll, pushed her against the dressing room wall, pinned her. in place with his shoulder and raped her,” according to the new complaint.

April trial request

A trial as early as April on the battery claim may be possible because it involves many of the same elements as the defamation suit, which depends in part on whether Carroll could prove her allegations were possibly true.

Carroll’s lawyers have already deposed Trump and several other witnesses in the defamation case whose testimony would be relevant to the battery claim, including a writer who claims Trump sexually assaulted her during an interview and a former saleswoman who says he beat her up on a plane. Both women were questioned as part of Carroll’s attempt to show an established pattern of behavior.

Trump delayed the defamation suit with multiple appeals and other legal maneuvers before being forced to sit down for sworn testimony last month at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida. Trump’s lawyer said he answered all questions and was “ready and willing” to testify. Carroll was also deposed by Trump’s lawyers.

Read more: Trump responds to rape accuser’s defamation lawsuit

Specifically, the new battery lawsuit will include a new defamation claim based on comments Trump made about Carroll on social media in October. The new comments are largely the same as the ones Trump made in 2019, but Trump can’t defend them in the same way because he made them after he left office.

“And while I shouldn’t say it, I will,” Trump said in an Oct. 12 post on the Truth Social platform. “This woman is not my type! He has no idea what day, what week, what month, what year or what year this so-called “event” supposedly took place.

“MI. Jean Carroll is not telling the truth,” he added.

In the new complaint, Carroll will say Trump’s Oct. 12 statement “was consistent with other statements Trump has made in response to other allegations of sexual assault by other women.”

The post may undermine Trump’s current defense to the defamation claim — that it is protected by a federal law that bars civil claims against federal government employees over allegations related to their job duties. This argument is already the subject of a long-standing objection that has not yet been resolved.

A federal appeals court in September agreed with Trump that he qualified as a government employee under the federal law, known as the Westfall Act, when he made the disputed comments. However, a DC appellate court must decide whether these remarks qualify as an official duty. Arguments on that question are set for January 10 in Washington.

(Update with comment from Trump’s lawyer.)

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