Defendant in Civil Sexual Assault Case Allowed to Proceed Pseudonymously
The court reasoned:
Even if the defendant has not provided medical documentation of the potential mental harm he would suffer if he were named, the court finds that the chance that he would suffer reputational harm is significant. The defendant is a partner of a well-known law firm in New York and an adjunct law school instructor.
But wouldn’t nearly all people who are accused of sexual assault risk “reputational harm” and even “mental harm,” even if they aren’t law firm partners and law school teachers? Indeed, wouldn’t that be true of people who are accused of other serious misconduct, such as embezzlement, fraud, and the like?
Here’s the heart of the analysis—a minority view, I think, though one I’ve seen in various forms in some other cases—from Doe v. Doe, decided late last year by Judge Kiyo Matsumoto (E.D.N.Y.):
The plaintiff … alleg[es] that the defendant committed multiple torts against her, including sexual assault and battery….
“[W]hen determining whether a plaintiff may be allowed to maintain an action under a pseudonym, the plaintiff’s interest in anonymity must be balanced against both the public interest in disclosure and any prejudice to the defendant.” …
The plaintiff has made sensitive and personal disclosures in her complaint, including that she availed herself of a website through which young women meet older men who are potential “sugar dadd[ies],” and that she contracted sexually-transmitted diseases as a result of the defendant’s alleged tortious conduct. The plaintiff has also provided a letter fro
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