Attorneys for the former president have alleged that New York’s Adult Survivors Act is inherently unconstitutional.
Former President Donald Trump has asked a federal court to dismiss the sexual assault lawsuit filed by E. Jean Carroll, alleging that the complaint’s legality is predicated on an inherently unconstitutional law.
As LegalReader.com has reported before, Carroll’s lawsuit was filed after the enactment of New York’s Adult Survivors Act.
Under the Act’s provisions, the adult victims of childhood sexual abuse have an extended, two-year window to bring claims against alleged perpetrators and enablers.
“There’s a serious question here as to whether the Adult Survivors Act is constitutional,” Trump attorney Michael T. Madaio said on Wednesday.
However, the court seemed at least somewhat skeptical of Trump’s claims: when the defense mentioned that they would move to have the lawsuit dismissed, Judge Lewis Kaplan said, “I wouldn’t count on that.”
Speaking to Trump’s legal team, Kaplan asked why they believed that the Adult Survivors Act would be found unconstitutional when the Child Victims Act held up in court.
In response, Madaio said that the Child Victims Act is different because it extended the statute of limitations on civil claims to a specific subset of vulnerable adults.
Carroll, who claims that Trump sexually assaulted her in the bathroom of a New York City department store in the 1990s, said during a deposition that she had never seriously considered levelling public charges against the former president until the #MeToo movement reached its peak.
“Women who have been raped are looked at in this society as less, are looked at as spoiled goods, are looked at as rather dumb, to let themselves get attacked,” Carroll said in an October deposition.
During the deposition, Trump attorneys aggressively pressed Carroll for more information about how she acted during and after the alleged attack.
At one point, lawyer Alina Habba asked Carroll whether she had screamed or asked for help.
“I mean even you have to say, ‘Did you scream?'” Carroll told Habba. “I mean every woman who admits to being attacked has to answer that question, ‘Why didn’t you scream, why did you come forward when you did, why didn’t you come forward before’ and so no, I didn’t—I would have been fired.”
Carroll further said that it took her several years to come to terms with what had happened.
“Four or five years ago I would have told you it had no effect. I’m as good as new. This is great. I’m fine. I rarely think of it,” Carroll said. “But I’ve come to understand that the rape changed my life, which is shocking for me to now understand.”
Trump has repeatedly insisted that Carroll’s claims are false.
During and after his successful 2016 campaign for the United States presidency, Trump attracted some criticism after downplaying Carroll’s claims, saying that he could not have assaulted her because she is not his “type.”