Jane Doe Accuser in Russell Simmons Case Will Not Have to Pay Him $10 Million

Illustration for article titled Jane Doe Accuser in Russell Simmons Case Will Not Have to Pay Him $10 Million
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Russell Simmons’s request that the woman who accused him of rape pay $10 million in sanctions has been denied by a judge and the lawsuit against Simmons will continue.

In March 2018, a Jane Doe filed a lawsuit against Simmons, alleging he raped her after a concert. Simmons claimed the statute of limitations was up and asked that his accuser pay millions in sanctions. But a judge has ruled Simmons hasn’t provided enough evidence that time had run out, according to Page Six:

“Simmons argued in his own court papers from December 21, 2018 that the “complaint is based on the outrageous and fictional claim that Mr. Simmons raped her in Sacramento, California in 1988 after threatening to molest her young son. The statute of limitations for a personal injury claim under California law is two years.” But, the judge said, Simmons did not provide any proof of residency or that he had even travelled to California.”

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The Jane Doe in the case says Simmons approached her and her son at a concert, after which she dropped her son off with a babysitter before going to a nightclub with Simmons. The woman alleges Simmons then said he had to pick something up at his hotel, where she says he threatened to rape her son before assaulting her.

This is the third time a judge has refused to dismiss the case. Over a dozen other women have also accused Russell Simmons of sexual assault.

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DISCUSSION

Here’s how these things usually work. Basically, if a person files a lawsuit that has absolutely no basis in the law (meaning it doesn’t survive a motion to dismiss), many states have a rule that the person being sued can obtain what are sometimes called frivolous proceedings sanctions. This is to deter people from filing worthless lawsuits.  I want to be clear here that I’m not saying that Simmons didn’t rape this woman, but if he’s correct and it happened outside the reach of the statute of limitations, legally, the claim is worthless.

However, it looks like here, Simmons hasn’t actually won a motion to dismiss, so he can’t get sanctions. The reason he hasn’t won the motion to dismiss is because the lawsuit doesn’t actually say the date that the rape happened, and Simmons hasn’t presented any evidence that the plaintiff is accusing him of something that happened 30 years ago. It appears that the rules in California are that Simmons needs to sign a verified petition regarding the date, and he hasn’t done that. If he ends up doing it, and the judge finds that this case happened outside the statute of limitations and the case gets dismissed, Simmons can likely bring this $10M claim back up and try again for sanctions.