In the US state of New York, author E Jean Carroll has filed a lawsuit against Donald Trump for allegedly raping her in the 1990s.
The Adult Survivors Act went into effect on Thursday, and Ms. Carroll is one of the first people to file a lawsuit under it.
According to state law, victims of sexual assault in New York have a year to file lawsuits for crimes that would have otherwise exceeded the statute of limitations.
The claims made against the previous president have been refuted.
Ms. Carroll claims that the assault occurred 27 years ago in a changing room of a high-end department shop in New York.
The Adult Survivors Act enables victims to come forward if the sexual assault happened to them while they were older than 18 and on a date that is past the statute of limitations for the majority of felonies.
It is based on the state’s recently passed Child Abuse Act, which included abuse victims who were minors.
The Child Abuse Act, which went into force in 2019, gave victims of abuse a two-year window to report their abuse. According to that law, over 11,000 lawsuits were brought in New York against churches, hospitals, schools, camps, and other institutions.
Defamation claims were made against Ms. Carroll by the former president Trump when she made her allegations public for the first time in 2019. Mr. Trump referred to Ms. Carroll’s assertions as “fiction.” The lawsuit has a civil trial set on February 6.
Roberta Kaplan, Ms. Carroll’s lawyer, said in a statement that the new complaint, which was filed on Thursday, aims to hold Mr. Trump responsible for the claimed assault.
While she respects and admires those who come forward, Mr. Trump’s attorney Alina Habba told US media that “this case is sadly an abuse of the intent of this Act” and “runs the risk of delegitimizing the credibility of true victims.”
As a result of the new law, additional people want to file lawsuits.
This includes a proposed class action lawsuit against Robert Hadden, a former gynecologist at institutions associated with Columbia University and New York-Presbyterian who has been accused of sexual abuse by numerous patients.
Mr. Hadden was found guilty of sex offenses in state court in 2016, but he has pleaded not guilty to federal allegations of sexually assaulting patients for more than 20 years.
Advocates for sex abuse survivors say the law gives those who may have been afraid to speak up in the past owing to trauma or fear of punishment the chance to do so now.
In the aftermath of the #MeToo movement in 2018, several other states, including New Jersey, California, Arizona, and Montana, also extended or temporarily repealed their statutes of limitations on sex crimes.