Rape complaint against Donald Trump revived in New York

An American journalist, E. Jean Carroll, who accuses Donald Trump of having raped her in the 1990s, relaunched this Thursday, November 24, her civil legal action against the former President of the United States, thanks to a new law to New York that protects victims of sexual assault.

A double court case of alleged rape and defamation has pitted E. Jean Carroll, 78, against Donald Trump, 76, in the Manhattan federal civil court since 2019, both of whom produced their sworn depositions in October before a New York judge.

In the defamation proceedings, E. Jean Carroll, author and former columnist for “Elle” magazine, had sued Donald Trump in civil proceedings in November 2019. She accused him of having defamed her for calling her a “complete lie”in June 2019, his allegations of rape in a dressing room of a New York department store in 1995 or 1996.

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The Republican president then in office (2017-2021) replied that he had never met her and that she was not “not his kind of woman”. His lawyers have also always claimed that he was protected in 2019 by his immunity as head of state.

As for the accusations of rape, E. Jean Carroll had not been able to file a formal complaint in 2019 since the alleged facts were prescribed.

However, on November 24, a new law in the State of New York (“Adult Survivors Act”) came into force allowing, for one year, victims of sexual assault to reactivate their possible old complaints and claim a civil trial.

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The law firm of E. Jean Carroll, Kaplan Hecker and Fink, and the federal justice of Manhattan therefore released several court documents on Thursday accusing Donald Trump in particular of “rape” and asking for a civil trial in 2023 to obtain damages.

In the introduction to the complaint, which is now admissible and which relates all the facts, Donald Trump is accused “about 27 years ago […] in the luxury department store Bergdorf Goodman on Fifth Avenue in New York (of) grabbing E. Jean Carroll, slamming and pinning her against the wall of a dressing room with his shoulder and raped her”.

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The complainant had been silent for more than 20 years before telling her story in a book at the end of the 2010s in favor of the #MeToo movement launched in 2017 against violence against women.

“While I respect and admire people who speak up, this case unfortunately constitutes a diversion of the objective of the law which creates a serious precedent and risks delegitimizing the words of real victims”, reacted this Thursday to AFP Alina Habba, Donald Trump’s lawyer in the case.

Last October, the former president called these accusations “hoax and lie”.

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