A woman accused Donald Trump of raping her when she was 13 years old in a lawsuit filed in federal court in New York this week. The lawsuit alleges that the assaults happened at parties hosted by billionaire Jeffrey Epstein (for more on his past see our previous story). The woman, who doesn’t want to be named, claims that Trump initiated sexual contact four times and “forcibly” raped her back in 1994. The woman claims ‘mental duress’ over the years has prevented her from coming forward with the allegations until recently. In April, she filed a similar lawsuit in federal court which was subsequently dismissed. Alan Garten, an attorney for Donald Trump, told LawNewz.com the allegations are “unequivocally false” and “politically motivated.” Like the lawsuit filed in California, I believe, this one has very little chance of succeeding.
The attorney, who filed the lawsuit, is Thomas Francis Meagher, a patent lawyer from Princeton, New Jersey. His firm’s website was oddly pulled down this afternoon. But, an archived version of the page says he is an expert at litigation, “patent licensing, and patent prosecution management.” Multiple phone calls to his office by LawNewz.com were not returned. Trump’s attorney is threatening to file for sanctions against Meagher if he even proceeds with the lawsuit.
“I don’t know of any attorney — in this country worthy of being admitted by any bar — who would sign legal papers — attesting to such outrageous facts,” Garten told LawNewz.com.
And if the allegations are false, The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure are pretty clear on what is required of any action filed in court.
(1) it is not being presented for any improper purpose, such as to harass, cause unnecessary delay, or needlessly increase the cost of litigation;
(2) the claims, defenses, and other legal contentions are warranted by existing law or by a nonfrivolous argument for extending, modifying, or reversing existing law or for establishing new law;
(3) the factual contentions have evidentiary support or, if specifically so identified, will likely have evidentiary support after a reasonable opportunity for further investigation or discovery; and
(4) the denials of factual contentions are warranted on the evidence or, if specifically so identified, are reasonably based on belief or a lack of information.
There are also some obvious legal hurdles based merely on the claims in the suit that would also make this case quite difficult.
For one, the statute of limitations on many of the claims including sexual misconduct, assault and battery has run up. Other than an affidavit by another unidentified woman who claims to have witnessed the encounters, there appears to be no other evidence concerning what happened. This woman does not indicate that she ever went to police. In addition, no other evidence like DNA or taped conversations has surfaced.
The plaintiff in this case has additionally claimed that she was “defamed” after Trump’s attorney said her allegations were “categorically false” following her first lawsuit in California. At this point, the real identity of whoever is behind these lawsuits has yet to surface. It would be hard to prove that an anonymous woman suffered damage to her reputation if no one knows who she is.
The court docket indicates the case has been assigned to a judge, and an electronic summons has been issued for both Donald Trump and Jeffrey Epstein (the other named defendant). The woman is demanding at least $75,000. We will watch the docket and let you know what happens.
Here is a copy of the lawsuit: