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Writer E. Jean Carroll is suing Trump under New York’s new sexual assault law

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Writer and columnist E. Jean Carroll is suing former President Donald Trump for alleged sexual assault in the 1990s, under a New York law that allows victims of sexual assault to sue years later.

Carroll’s lawyers filed the lawsuit Thursday, minutes after the Adult Survivors Act went into effect. The law, signed into law by New York Governor Kathy Hochul (D) in late May, gives adult sexual assault survivors up to one year to file a lawsuit, regardless of when the alleged violation occurred.

Carroll, a longtime advice columnist for Elle magazine, says Trump raped her in the mid-1990s in a dressing room of a Manhattan luxury department store — an allegation Trump has denied.

The court filing Thursday said Carroll brought the lawsuit to “get redress for her injuries and to show that even a man as powerful as Trump can be held liable under the law.”

She is suing Trump for libel and defamation and seeking damages and damages, saying the alleged assault caused “significant pain and suffering, lasting psychological damage, loss of dignity and invasion of her privacy.”

The lawsuit was expected. Carroll said in court filings filed in September, as part of her ongoing, separate defamation suit against Trump, that she would file a lawsuit against the former president under the Adult Survivors Act “once that statute authorizes us to do so.”

Carroll first spoke about the alleged assault in a book in 2019. She was unable to press charges at the time because the statute of limitations had expired.

Trump, who has been accused of sexual assault by a slew of other women, responded to the allegations by saying that Carroll was “totally lying” and that the journalist was “not my type.” Carroll then sued Trump for libel.

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In court documents filed Thursday, Carroll alleges Trump “forced her against a locker room wall, shoulder-pressed her in place, and raped her.” The indictment says Carroll had remained silent about the incident for more than 20 years out of fear before deciding it was time to speak out after the #MeToo movement prompted sexual assault survivors around the world to share their stories .

In a statement on the new lawsuit, Carroll’s attorney, Roberta Kaplan, said the writer “intends to hold Donald Trump responsible not only for defaming her, but also for sexually assaulting her, which he did years ago.” in a locker room at Bergdorf Goodman. ”

“Thanksgiving Day was the very first day Mrs. Carroll could file a complaint under New York law, so our complaint was filed in court shortly after midnight.”

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Trump’s attorney, Alina Habba, denied the claims Thursday.

“While I respect and admire individuals who come forward, this case is unfortunately an abuse of the purpose of this law, setting a terrible precedent and risking undermining the credibility of actual victims,” ​​Habba told the Associated Press.

Carroll representatives have attempted to merge the defamation suit with Thursday’s new lawsuit under the Adult Survivors Act, though Trump’s legal team has argued the move would be harmful.

The Adult Survivors Act is modeled after New York’s Child Victims Act, which was signed into law in 2019 and provided a similar opportunity for survivors of child sexual abuse to file lawsuits against their alleged abusers.

An avalanche of lawsuits are expected to be filed under the new law, which supporters say offers survivors a chance to hold their attackers accountable — even if a significant period of time has passed since the alleged incident.

Shayna Jacobs contributed to this report.

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