Republican presidential candidate is one of two named in statutory rape filing
A case recently filed in federal court accuses Donald Trump of sexual assault, battery and a number of other offences against a 13-year-old girl.
On June 20th of this year, the filing brought forward by 'Jane Doe' names Donald Trump and American financier Jeffrey Epstein as having committed rape, criminal sexual acts, sexual abuse, sexual misconduct, forcible touching, assault, battery and false imprisonment.
Four separate attacks
The filing claims that Trump raped the then 13-year-old girl in 1994 on four separate occasions. It also states that when the plaintiff tried to stop the assault on the fourth occasion, Trump struck her.
The plaintiff also alleges that Trump said another 12-year-old girl called 'Maria' had complained about the assaults, and soon after she 'disappeared'.
While this case is filed anonymously from New York, a similar case was filed in California on April 26th of this year by a woman called Katie Johnson.
Johnson made the original filing without the help of a lawyer and it was eventually dismissed because of procedural errors with paperwork.
The new filing contains a reference to the original attempt as part of the plaintiff's request for a protective order:
As well as Trump, the plaintiff claims she was raped by Jeffrey Epstein, an American financier who has previously served time in prison for soliciting prostitution from girls as young as 14-years-old.
Epstein is also currently registered as a Level 3 sex offender in the state of New York, which the state defines as “high risk of repeat offence and a threat to public safety.”
Following an undercover operation by the FBI in 2005, the high profile businessman was found to have had a network of young women recruiting teenage girls to give him massages and have sex with him.
The new filing features a sworn statement from one of Epstein's 'recruiters'. 'Tiffany Doe' claims to have been employed by Epstein between 1991 and 2000. The woman states that her job was to procure young girls for the businessman and this is how she met 'Jane Doe' in New York's Port Authority bus station.
In her witness statement, 'Tiffany Doe' states: "I am coming forward to swear to the truthfulness of the physical and sexual abuse that I personally witnessed of minor females at the hands of Mr. Trump and Mr. Epstein... I swear to these facts under the penalty for perjury even though I fully understand that the life of myself and my family is now in grave danger."
“I personally witnessed the Plaintiff being forced to perform various sexual acts with Donald J Trump and Mr Epstein... Both Mr Trump and Mr Epstein were advised that she was 13-years-old... I personally witnessed four sexual encounters that the Plaintiff was forced to have with Mr Trump during this period, including the fourth of these encounters where Mr Trump forcibly raped her despite her pleas to stop.”
Despite Epstein's past, Trump has spoken openly about the pair's friendship. In a 2014 interview with New York Magazine, he said:
"I've known Jeff for fifteen years. Terrific guy. He's a lot of fun to be with. It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side. No doubt about it — Jeffrey enjoys his social life."
Why we shouldn't ignore this case
Thomas Francis Meagher, the lawyer representing 'Jane Doe', spoke to Newstalk and stated that he "fully believes in his client, or [he] would not have gone forward with the case."
In an article on the Huffington Post, legal analyst for NBC News Lisa Bloom compared the almost total media disinterest on the filing to another recent case:
"If the Bill Cosby case has taught us anything, it is to not disregard rape cases against famous men. Serious journalists have publicly apologized for turning a blind eye to the Cosby accusers for over a decade, notwithstanding the large number of women who had come forward with credible claims. And now history is repeating itself."
Meagher, who is a managing partner of Meagher Emanuel Laks Goldberg & Liao, LLP, also stated that he is representing his client outside of his firm so as "not to distract from the work they are doing there", but also wished to let it be known that he is currently seeking out co-council on the case.
Statute of limitations
Due to New York law, the statute of limitations on any child sex offence runs out five years after the plaintiff turns 18, which means 'Jane Doe' - currently in her thirties - cannot file against Trump and Epstein in criminal court, which has resulted in the case being filed in civil court.
Newstalk has reached out for comment to Donald Trump's press office, as well as Michael Cohen, the legal representation for Trump and The Trump Organisation, but have yet to receive an official comment, and will update upon receipt of a response.