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Steven Tyler Sexual Assault Lawsuit Dismissed By Judge, Citing Decades-Long Delay By Alleged Victim

Mr. Nimbus | 02/22/2024

A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit accusing Aerosmith singer Steven Tyler of sexually assaulting a teenage girl decades ago, ruling that she had waited too long to bring her case.

Former teen model Jeanne Bellino sued the rocker in November, claiming he had forcibly kissed, groped and “humped” her twice over a single day in Manhattan in the summer of 1975. The case was filed under a recently-amended New York City law that allows abuse victims to sue over decades-old claims.

But in a ruling Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan ruled that Bellino’s case did not qualify under the new statute. He ruled that the special “lookback” window only applies to cases where the abuser’s actions presented a “serious risk of physical injury” – and that Tyler’s alleged actions did not do so.

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“The complaint in this case does not alleged conduct presenting a serious risk of physical injury and therefore fails to state a legally sufficient claim under the [NYC statute],” the judge wrote.

Wednesday’s ruling could be legally significant. Numerous other alleged victims who have filed long-delayed abuse cases under the law in question — New York’s Victims of Gender-Motivated Violence Protection Law – after it opened a two-year window for such lawsuits from March 1, 2023 to March 1, 2025.

Bellino sued in November, claiming she had suffered “severe and permanent emotional distress” over the incidents, which allegedly occurred when she was 17 and Tyler was 27. “Tyler used his power, influence, and authority as a well-known musician to sexually assault Plaintiff.”

In her complaint, Bellino claimed that she and a friend had arranged to meet Aerosmith in Manhattan. First, she said that Tyler pushed her into a phone booth and “stuck his tongue down her throat” before groping her and “humping her pretending to have sex with Plaintiff.” After she returned to a hotel with the band later in the day, she claimed that Tyler “again pinned Plaintiff against the wall” and forcibly kissed and groped her.

Tyler has not publicly commented on the lawsuit, but in court filings, his attorneys have said he “vehemently denies” the allegations. In their motion to dismiss the case, his lawyers argued Bellino could not use the New York City newly-enacted statute to sue over “purported sexual misconduct that occurred nearly half a century ago.”

“Ms. Bellino’s attempt to advance a claim based on legislative enactments decades after the purported misconduct occurred is contrary to the legislative intent, statutory construction, and fundamental notions of individual liberty and due process embedded in both the state and federal constitutions,” Tyler’s lawyers wrote in a motion earlier this month.

Wednesday’s ruling from Judge Kaplan granted that motion, dismissing the lawsuit. But the judge said Bellino could potentially seek to file an updated version of her case; he gave her until next month to request the right to do so. Neither side immediately returned requests for comment on Thursday.

The lawsuit was the second abuse case against Tyler in recent years. In 2022, the rock star was sued by Julia Holcomb, who claims that Tyler repeatedly assaulted her for three years starting in 1973, when she was just 16 years old. Holcomb claims to be the girl Tyler referred to in his memoir, Does the Noise in My Head Bother You?, when he wrote he “almost took a teen bride” and convinced her parents to grant him guardianship over her.

Holcomb’s case, filed in Los Angeles under a different look-back statute, remains pending. Tyler has denied those allegations, too, and his lawyers are seeking to have the case dismissed.

This post was originally published on this site

Written by Mr. Nimbus

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