Sexual abuse lawsuits are set to be filed in New York, including by Trump’s rape prosecutor

A “flood” of sex abuse lawsuits is expected to be filed Thursday when New York’s Adult Survivors Act goes into effect — including a lawsuit by writer E. Jean Carroll accusing former President Donald Trump of rape.

The law, signed into law by Gov. Kathy Hochul on May 24, allows adult sex abuse survivors to file lawsuits during a year-long “hindsight window” that opens at midnight Thanksgiving — even if their claims are outside the statute of limitations that day.

“The opening of the ASA is a small correction in the statute of limitations, which has always favored the powerful and the predators,” said attorney Carrie Goldberg, who will take on at least a few dozen cases.

Goldberg – who works on the cases with attorney Susan Crumiller, a close friend and sex abuse survivor – said opening the Thanksgiving window is “apropos” for victims who are grateful to be able to seek justice in court.

“This law is the debt owed to the victims,” ​​she said.

Attorneys for Elle magazine columnist E. Jean Carroll said last week that under the new law they will file a battery lawsuit against Trump, 76, on Thursday. The lawsuit alleges Trump raped Carroll in a Bergdorf Goodman dressing room in the early 1990s.

Carroll has already filed a civil suit against Trump in federal court in Manhattan for alleged defamation, when he called her a liar and said her allegations were “a complete fraud.”

But with the ASA, she will now be able to specifically sue the ex-president over the alleged assault, adding to a number of legal cases he is currently involved in.

The law mirrors New York’s Child Victims Act of 2019, which also gave child abuse survivors a window to sue their attackers — or the institutions that protected them — regardless of when the abuse occurred.

Former President Donald Trump gives a speech.
Carroll claims Trump raped her in a Bergdorf Goodman dressing room in the 1990s.
AP

By the time the window closed in August 2021, nearly 11,000 cases had been filed with the CVA nationwide — including those against the Boy Scouts of America, pedophile financier Jeffrey Epstein and the Catholic Church.

According to attorneys Adam Slater and Ben Crump, who said they handle over 750 of those cases, hundreds of lawsuits are filed under the ASA on behalf of female inmates who allege they have been sexually abused in state prisons and jails.

The claims could cost the state millions because there is no limit to how much it has to pay victims, according to Sen. Brad Hoylman – one of the sponsors of the ASA Act.

Nor was there a cap on how much the state could pay under the CVA, where countless lawsuits have been filed against public schools over allegations of teachers and staff of child abuse.

Goldberg’s partner Susan Crumiller said “it’s crazy,” as few adult victims know about the ASA – noting that many of the lawsuits came from clients the couple had previously had to dismiss because of the statute of limitations.

The legal duo’s ASA cases include lawsuits brought by alleged victims of disgraced producer Harvey Weinstein and models who allege they were sexually abused in the fashion industry.

Attorney Adam Slater, alleged victim and former inmate Sadie Bell and attorney Ben Crump speak at the press conference.
Sadie Bell said she plans to sue after she was allegedly sexually assaulted by a prison guard.

“The more we change the culture and educate ourselves about the dynamics of sexual abuse and the dynamics of consent and we stop shaming victims — I think more people will come forward,” Crumiller said.

A 41-year-old client of theirs told The Post how 10 years ago she was the target of a “serial harasser and attacker” – a partner at a reputable law firm who still practices today. When she rejected him, her partner is said to have fired her.

“It killed me to know that there is no justice and no punishment,” the woman said. “It wasn’t even a slip-up in his life.

“I would never be able to get any kind of compensation and I had kind of conditioned myself to live with that,” she added, “and that’s very encouraging to be able to get back to that with renewed support from the law.”

It’s unclear if the woman will be among those to file suit Thursday because the company she was fired from rushed to reach a settlement first, Crumiller said.

Jordan Merson, who represented Epstein victims on the CVA, said he will be handling over 10 ASA cases. He said the law is an important “opportunity” for adult survivors of abuse.

“The courthouse doors have been closed to them for far too long,” Merson said. “The statute of limitations for these cases used to be a year… That wasn’t fair.”

A sign in Times Square that reads "If, like us, you were sexually abused, even if it was a long time ago, you can now seek justice in court."
Adult victims can now sue in New York during a one-year window, even if their claims are outside the statute of limitations.
AP

Merson highlighted a major difference between claims filed under the CVA and the ASA claims, as in child sexual abuse cases non-consent is a legal requirement, while in adult cases you must prove non-consent.

Crumiller also acknowledged that ASA cases would be consent-dependent.

“Everyone is always afraid to bring these [adult] Referring cases because he-said-she-said,” she noted, adding, “We don’t see that as an impediment.”

Lawyers have been divided over how many ASA cases are filed in New York.

Attorney Lisa Coppola – who expects to handle dozens of ASA cases – said given the age range for adults is so much wider than it is for children, “In terms of sheer numbers, I expect we’ve got a lot, a lot.” will see more claims.”

Carrie Goldberg, a sex crimes attorney, wears a jacket embroidered with "Law enforcement of stalkers, perverts, trolls and tech" at a press conference on the Adult Survivors Act, Friday 18 November 2022
Carrie Goldberg, a sex crimes attorney, wears a jacket that reads “Suing Stalkers, Perverts, Trolls & Tech” at a news conference on the Adult Survivors Act on November 18, 2022.
AP

But attorney Cynthia LaFave – who says she will have dozens of ASA cases – believes there will be far fewer as adults are more likely to report assaults to law enforcement, while children have often failed to report due to “enforced” secrecy and fear.

LaFave said the ASA was “necessary” to bring about societal change.

Lucian Chalfen, a spokesman for the state court system, said the New York legal system is ready to handle the ASA cases, regardless of how many are filed.

“While we anticipate a flood of filings initially, we are prepared and will assign cases to judges without delay,” Chalfen said in a statement.

“While there has been much talk of a spate of Child Victims Act cases, it never materialized with just under 11,000 being filed during the two-year window,” Chalfen said. “Should the Adult Survivors Act generate a volume of filings, we will adjust accordingly.”

Hoylman – who sponsored the bill with Assembly Member Linda Rosenthal – said: “It is fitting that the window for the Adult Survivors Act opens on Thanksgiving Day.

“The public owes a debt of gratitude to sexual abuse survivors for having the courage to make claims and make our communities safer by identifying predators and the institutions that may have provided them with shelters,” he said.

Rosenthal added, “The laws have long shielded abusers and the institutions that housed them; the ASA amends this November 24, 2022.”

https://nypost.com/2022/11/24/sex-abuse-suits-set-to-be-filed-in-ny-including-by-trump-rape-accuser/ Sexual abuse lawsuits are set to be filed in New York, including by Trump’s rape prosecutor

JACLYN DIAZ

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