Trump will challenge NY sex abuse law in writer's defamation lawsuit

By Daniel Wiessner

(Reuters) -Donald Trump plans to argue that a New York law allowing a writer to sue the former U.S. president over claims that he raped her decades ago is unconstitutional, according to a court filing.

Lawyers for Trump said in a filing made on Monday in Manhattan federal court that they would move to dismiss the lawsuit filed last month by E. Jean Carroll in part on grounds that the law spurred by the #MeToo movement is invalid.

Trump has denied Carroll's claim that he raped her in a dressing room in a Bergdorf Goodman department store 27 years ago. The former Elle magazine columnist is suing Trump for defamation and battery under New York's Adult Survivors Act.

The law created a one-year period that began last month when adult victims of alleged sexual abuse can file lawsuits that otherwise would have been barred because the cases were too old.

Trump's lawyers in the filing said the law "is an improper ‘claim revival’ statute which violates the United States Constitution and the New York State Constitution."

Roberta Kaplan, a lawyer for Carroll, declined to comment.

U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan in an order on Wednesday gave Trump until Feb. 23 to file a motion to dismiss the lawsuit.

Carroll had sued Trump for defamation in 2019 for denying her allegations, and a trial is scheduled in that case for April.

Lawyers for Carroll have asked Kaplan to send the newer claims to trial at the same time, but Trump's lawyers have said that would be improper.

(Reporting by Daniel Wiessner in Albany, New York; Editing by David Gregorio)

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