The mayor denied the accusation and said he has never met the Florida woman who filed the case under the Adult Survivors Act.
Mayor Eric Adams of New York has been accused in a lawsuit filed under New York’s Adult Survivors Act of sexually assaulting a Florida woman three decades ago.
The suit, which was filed Wednesday in Manhattan, accuses the mayor of assaulting the woman in 1993 when Mr. Adams was a New York police officer, but gives no other details. He denied the claim and said he does not recall ever meeting the woman who filed the suit.
Mr. Adams on Thursday denied the central claim of the case, which seeks $5 million and also names the Police Department as a defendant.
“People know my character. They see how I am, how I carry myself,” the mayor told reporters, adding, “This never took place, and I do not recall ever meeting the accuser.”
Signed into law by Gov. Kathy Hochul in 2022, the Adult Survivors Act provided a one-year window for people to bring lawsuits over sexual assaults that may have occurred years or decades ago. The woman’s suit was filed in New York Supreme Court just before the law’s grace period was scheduled to expire on Friday.
The Times does not typically identify people who claim they have been victims of sexual violence.
In addition to sexual assault, the woman also accuses Mr. Adams and the department of employment discrimination, retaliation, hostile work environment and intentional infliction of emotional distress. The Police Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The plaintiff said in the suit that she and Mr. Adams were both employees of the city. In 1993, Mr. Adams was an officer in the Police Department’s transit bureau, which is also a defendant in the lawsuit. He joined the department itself in 1995, after the transit bureau was absorbed into the larger agency.
The plaintiff could not be reached for comment. Her attorney in New York, Megan Goddard, did not return phone calls and emails seeking comment for this story.
The lawsuit is not the plaintiff’s first. In 2008, she sued American Airlines, arguing that an employee had caused her to fall out of a wheelchair, injuring her back. After four days of trial, a jury decided in favor of the airline.
She sued the Miami-Dade County Public Schools Board in 2009, arguing that she was denied compensation after she was attacked by a student. She lost at trial and then appealed parts of the decision to the Florida Supreme Court and the U.S. Supreme Court, where she won several procedural motions but failed to win a retrial.
Last year, the plaintiff sued a casino in Florida, arguing the company was negligent in maintaining its facilities after a patron fell against her with such force that she feared “she was under ‘demonic attack,’” according to the lawsuit. That case is unresolved.
The Adult Survivors Act was passed three years after its predecessor, the Child Victims Act, which was enacted in 2019. Both created a window during which statutes of limitation were suspended, allowing people who claimed to have been abused years ago to bring lawsuits.
More than 10,000 lawsuits were filed under the Child Victims Act, and more than 2,500 have been filed in the past year by people who say they were harmed as adults. Many accuse institutions, including state and city hospitals and jails, of enabling patterns of abuse.
The law also has allowed several lawsuits against well-known people. The writer E. Jean Carroll’s case against Donald Trump, in which a jury found the former president liable for sexually abusing her in 1996, was made possible by the law.
Several more celebrities were sued in the past few days before the law’s lookback window expired. They include Axl Rose, who was the lead singer of Guns N’ Roses, and Sean Combs, the hip-hop mogul. Both men have denied wrongdoing. Mr. Combs’s accuser, Cassandra Ventura, reached a settlement with Mr. Combs a day after filing her lawsuit.