Court Documents Detail Bob Dylan’s Alleged Sexual Assault
September 16, 2021 | Personal Injury
An alleged victim of the iconic folk singer has come forward, alleging that Bob Dylan sexually abused her in 1965, when she was twelve years old.
According to the woman’s lawyer, Dylan “lower[ed] her inhibitions with the object of sexually abusing her, which he did, coupled with the provision of drugs, alcohol, and threats of physical violence, leaving her emotionally scarred and psychologically damaged to this day.”
She claims Dylan abused her in his apartment and at a New York City hotel.
“The complaint was filed after much research and thorough vetting and there’s no doubt that she was with him at the Hotel Chelsea,” her lawyer added.
A spokesperson for Dylan claimed that “the 56-year-old claim is untrue and will be vigorously defended.”
The woman, identified as J.C. in court documents, filed this action one day before the CVA window closed. This law allowed sexual abuse survivors to file legal actions no matter how old they were.
Why Do Some Victims Wait So Long to File?
After they go through very traumatic experiences, like being abused as a child, people must process the abuse in their own time.
The amount of time that can take varies significantly.
Trauma affects everyone differently. In some cases, the process takes a few months. In other cases, it takes a few decades.
Initially, most of these survivors go through denial. The brain usually hides its own injuries, including trauma.
On a related note, the brain usually conceals its own physical injuries as well.
Therefore, many car crash and other injury victims don’t realize the extent of their own physical injuries.
That’s why medical examinations are always important in these situations. If the doctor focuses on crash-related brain injuries, that’s even better.
Usually, attorneys can connect such victims with such doctors.
Denial is usually the longest recovery phase. Frequently, many months or many years pass before abuse survivors even acknowledge that something happened to them.
Generally, survivors blame themselves for the abuse.
That’s especially true in same gender sexual abuse matters. This deep sense of shame usually makes it impossible for them to talk about the experience in any meaningful way.
Victims who reach this recovery stage also often slip in and out of denial.
The sense of shame is so overwhelming that it’s easier to deny the abuse occurred.
When they are ready to deal with the pain, most survivors bounce around among therapists. This process somewhat resembles weight loss.
Not every program works for everyone. In the same way, some survivors connect with some therapists, and sometimes that connection never happens.
Most victims give most therapists at least a few sessions before they try to find someone else.
Additionally, sometimes victims make tremendous progress with a therapist, then that progress plateaus. So, the search continues.
By this time, as mentioned, several years or decades have probably passed.
As a result, many of these victims don’t think they have any legal options. So, it may be even longer before they reach out to a New York sexual abuse attorney.
As outlined below, no matter how much time has passed since the abuse, victims might still have legal options.
The Child Victims Act
Although some key provisions have now expired, the underlying spirit of the CVA is alive and well.
This spirit is a game-changer for victims.
Essentially, the CVA validates the above process.
It forces courts to recognize the fact that healing takes time in these situations. And, filing a civil suit is usually the last thing on these victims’ minds.
Moreover, other key provisions of the Child Victims Act remain in place. The civil statute of limitations is a good example. Usually, the statute of limitations is two years in injury claims.
But the CVA allows sexual abuse survivors to file actions until they reach age 55.
Furthermore, the CVA eliminated the old notice of claim requirement in these situations. Generally, when private citizens sue the government for negligence, they must initially file a notice of claim.
This process gives the entity a chance to settle the matter quietly and outside the courts. Removing that privacy shield might be more important to victims than the statute of limitations revision.
Filing a Damage Claim
Age 55 might be the CVA cutoff. But it’s not the statute of limitations cutoff. Instead, the delayed discovery rule governs these situations. The statute of limitations timer doesn’t begin running until:
- Victims know they full extent of their injuries, and
- They connect those injuries with the defendant’s wrongful conduct.
This doctrine doesn’t only apply in sexual abuse claims. It applies in almost all injury claims, such as toxic exposure injury claims.
The delayed discovery rule is very controversial, mostly because insurance companies and other potential defendants hate it.
Their lobbyists campaign against it in statehouses, and their lawyers fight it in courthouses.
Dangerous drugs are a good example of the controversies involved.
Assume Nicole took Drug X for a few months in 2021.
In 2022, Drug X’s manufacturer added a cancer warning to the label. But since Nicole isn’t taking the drug, she doesn’t know about the warning.
Ten years later, she sees a doctor who says she has cancer.
If Nicole tries to file a damage claim, the defendant will probably argue that the lawsuit window closed in 2024, two years after the company added a warning label. But the SOL clock didn’t begin ticking until she knew she had cancer and knew about the cancer/Drug X connection.
Even though the CVA’s lawsuit window has closed, these victims still have legal options. For a free consultation with an experienced sexual abuse lawyer in New York, contact Napoli Shkolnik PLLC.
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