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Writer E. Jean Carroll filed a new lawsuit on Wednesday accusing former President Trump of raping her in the mid-1990s, minutes after a New York law took effect allowing victims of sexual abuse to file a claim in cases in which the statute of limitations has expired.
Carroll, a longtime columnist for Elle magazine, is demanding a jury trial and seeking an unspecified amount of compensatory and punitive damages, according to her complaint filed in the U.S. District Court in the Southern District of New York.
In a blog post on Wednesday, Carroll said it was a first step toward accountability for all women who have been abused by a man in power.
“The new suit may ruin the former president’s Thanksgiving, but it will be nourishing to every woman who’s ever been grabbed, groped, harassed, pinched, prodded, assaulted, smeared or dragged through the mud by a powerful man,” she wrote.
New York’s Adult Survivors Act creates a one-year window for survivors of a sexual assault to file a legal claim, even if the statute of limitations has passed. The victims must have been over the age of 18 when the alleged crime occurred.
In a separate lawsuit filed about three years ago, Carroll accused Trump of defamation after he denied the alleged sexual assault, which she first documented in a 2019 book.
Trump, who was president at the time of the book’s release, has denied Carroll’s allegations and said the writer was “not my type.”
The defamation trial is scheduled to begin in February at the federal district court in Manhattan, but first the District of Columbia Court of Appeals is scheduled to hear oral arguments in January on legal issues raised by Trump’s legal team.
The question in that hearing is whether Trump made the allegedly defamatory statements within the scope of his role as president of the United States, and should therefore be protected from being sued in his personal capacity.
Carroll alleges Trump raped her in a department store in either 1995 or 1996. In her lawsuit filed Wednesday, the writer said she did not report the rape at the time it occurred because she believed she stood little chance of prevailing in court against a rich and powerful man.
But after the “Me Too” movement empowered many woman to stand up to powerful men accused of abuse, Carroll’s attorneys wrote in the new lawsuit that “it suddenly seemed possible that even Trump could be held to account.”
The lawsuit also alleges Trump has continued to defame her since 2019, pointing to a post on the former president’s Truth Social account that reads, “E. Jean Carroll is not telling the truth, is a
woman who I had nothing to do with, didn’t know, and would have no interest in knowing her if I ever had the chance.”
Trump has been accused of sexual misconduct by more than 20 women.