Adult Survivors Act (ASA) Empowered Over 2500 Alleged Victims and Expired on November 24, 2023
Adult Survivors Act (ASA) was put in effect on November 24, 2022, and was to last till November 24, 2024. The New York State legislation was enacted in May 2022, and the law enabled several alleged victims of sexual offenses to file civil suits even if the offenses were beyond the statute of limitations.
Prior to 2019, the statute of limitations for civil cases of sexual misconduct in New York was 3 years. However, in 2019, due to the surge of cases in the state, the period increased to 20 years for adults. This wasn’t enough, as the extended period wouldn’t be applied to cases that have already occurred.
The Adult Survivors Act was then enacted in 2022. The bill was sponsored by state Senator Brad Hoylman and Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal. In April 2022, the bill was unanimously passed in the Senate, and in May 2022, it was passed with a vote of 140-3 in the Assembly.
At the time, it was predicted that due to this law, the New York civil court would be overloaded with sexual misconduct cases, and it happened. Over 2500 plaintiffs filed lawsuits against their alleged perpetrators, with notable names such as Donald Trump, Sean “Diddy” Combs, and Bill Cosby making headlines. The law empowered victims with a voice that would be heard. Through this, several stories came out, and the law has been nothing but beneficial for people who have gone through trauma and have been silent for years now.
One of the most sensational cases was that of Donald J Trump’s defamation lawsuit against writer E Jean Carroll. The latter won the $5 million lawsuit deeming Trump as a sexual abuser. Hip Hop artist, Diddy, settled a lawsuit in early November, which was filed by his former girlfriend Casandra Ventura aka “Cassie.” She alleged that he beat, drugged, and raped her multiple times since their relationship began in 2005.
While these are merely 2 instances, there are several others that turned in the victims’ favor and gave several others to come out, speak, and voice their stories. Liz Roberts, chief executive of the domestic abuse victim advocacy group Safe Horizon, said, “The Adult Survivors Act marks a monumental victory for survivors whose courage and commitment resulted in a viable path to justice and healing for thousands.” If you believe that you fall under this act, you can reach out to a Los Angeles molestation attorney for a consultation.
She also added, “The one-year look back window has enabled survivors to take back their power by pursuing a suit against the person who caused them harm, or a negligent institution, without fear of the statute of limitations.”
Drew Dixon, a member of Safe Horizon’s ASA coalition, said, “I’m inspired by the courage of Julia Ormond, who filed a lawsuit to demand accountability from her abuser, Harvey Weinstein, and from Weinstein’s enablers in Hollywood, whose cumulative actions led to the derailment of her career.” The group member also added, “I’m grateful to have been part of the coalition of survivor-activists who helped make it possible for Ormond and all victims of sexual assault in New York to receive some modicum of justice.” Drew also filed a lawsuit against former X Factor judge Antonio “LA” Reid, alleging that he sexually assaulted her twice in 2001 and later derailed her career as a singer. However, Reid hasn’t responded to the lawsuit yet.
Linda Rosenthal, the co-sponsor of the bill, said, “Hundreds of survivors of sexual assault have sought justice through the act, but the window to file a case in court will soon close.” While politicians, victims, and activists are separating for all the victories, it is important to remember that the ASA expired on November 24, 2023, and the regular statute of limitations and the respective laws apply.