Should former au pairs come back to New York to sue their host families for sexual assault?

New York Democrats opened a one-year hunting season on Donald Trump by temporarily removing the statute of limitations on sexual assault. A jury has demonstrated that no physical evidence is required for a plaintiff to make bank. Suppose that former au pairs come over from Europe to file lawsuits against the families for whom they worked in the 1990s. The jury will see a photo of a beautiful slender 18-year-old and, at the defense table, a fat old letch who used to be the host dad (cue the Harvey Weinstein footage). It won’t take a lot of juror imagination to picture the fat old guy pawing at the beautiful young woman, trapped in the room above the garage. If E. Jean Carroll can get $2 million for the assault on her 53-year-old twice-divorced body (in 1996, plus or minus 5 years), imagine what a jury would award for an assault on an innocent 18-year-old virgin.

Although divorce is much less common in Europe, if a former au pair has ended up divorced or a spinster or can claim to have suffered in some other way there could be enhanced damages from the assault. (As E. Jean Carroll achieved by saying that she wasn’t able to find new romance after the two proven divorces and one alleged rape.) Here’s a current photo of a household containing an au pair, from a profit-seeking government-authorized agency (only a handful of agencies can supply au pairs, which makes the trade profitable):

What jury is going to have trouble believing that something happened between the two folks on the left side of the photo during a full year living in the same house?

(For roughly half of the defendants, the former au pair plaintiff will be able to mine a rich deposit of salacious allegations made in a divorce lawsuit perhaps 15 years ago. New York divorce law did not technically become “no fault” until 2010 (Wikipedia), thus encouraging family court plaintiffs to present lurid accusations of abuse, rape, etc. in order to secure a victory.)

  • From a legal point of view, this path to riches could also work for a “bro pair” (male au pair), but these were not common in the 1990s

8 thoughts on “Should former au pairs come back to New York to sue their host families for sexual assault?

  1. Why does an Au pair have to be a young female, rather than say an aging babushka from a former Soviet block state ? Or perhaps a male “economic migrant” with face and neck tattoos? The “economic migrant” may also appreciate the chance at cultural exchange to experience and learn new cultures just as much as the he/she/they that identifies as Au pair.
    “Au pair arrangements are often subject to government restrictions which specify an age range usually from mid-late teens to mid to late twenties, and may explicitly limit the arrangement to females.

    • The young, attractive, nubile female au pair will elicit more juror sympathy than the Russian babushka or the tattooed male Honduran gang-member immigrant.

    • @DP: Are you sure about that? This is New York! I can hear it now! “You Honor, after all the trauma I been through in my short life, all I wanted was a nice, safe home here in your beautiful state in this wonderful country. I had two kids at home who were murdered by [pick a gang]. I treat this family like they were my own. I cook for them, I help with everything. Then this horrible crazy man, this Devil Doctor, he come into my bedroom one night, inject me so I cannot resist, and then he rape me like a beast while everyone is away except him! Now I got nowhere to go! I still have the scar. If I go back to Honduras now, my face is everywhere! They will kill me for the gay sex! Now I live in fear of all men everywhere!”

  2. “Should former au pairs come back to New York to sue their host families for sexual assault?”

    In the name of fairness, I think the State of New York should publish the property taxes, the assessed value of real estate, and the income tax of all white male New Yorkers, so these poor abused Au Pairs don’t have to research whether it is worth suing.

  3. How is divorce rate measured? If it’s the number of divorces per year per 1000 people then the European rate is lower just because the marriage rate could be twice as low as in the USA: If it’s the number of marriages that end up in divorce per total number of marriages, then Europe’s divorce rate is higher than USA’s. An interesting case is Portugal: one of the lowest marriage rates (only Italy and Luxembourg have lower rates in Western Europe) and one of the highest divorce rates (94%).

    I suppose the reason for lower marriage rates is that many European countries proposed civil partnerships for homosexuals in the 90s-2000s as a compromise solution before gay marriage became mainstream. These partnership had to be generous in terms of rights, in order not to discriminate against gays. So in legal terms they are not that different from marriage. But restricting them only to gays would have been discrimination again, so they could be taken up by heterosexuals. Which they do. A sort of unintended consequence, about 95% of civil partnerships in France are between heterosexuals while this legal instrument had initially been intented for homosexuals. Here are the statistics for France: (“Pacs” is the acronym for the civil partnership in France.) Yellow and pink denote same-sex marriages and civil partnerships respectively while blue and grey heterosexual ones.

    According to wikipedia, France’s marriage rate is 3.5 while that of the USA is 6.9. As the number of civil partnerships is slightly lower than that of marriages, we can assume that the rate of legal couples (marriages + civil partnerships) in France is identical to that of marriages in the USA. I wouldn’t be surprised if the “divorce” rate were the same if we included civil partnership dissolutions. A civil partnership is dissolved in France when anyone of the partners sends a letter to the mayor requesting the dissolution. I don’t know how child custody is arbitrated. There is no implicit common ownership of objects during the civil partnership. So each partner keeps what he acquired during the partnership. Obviously they can buy a house together and be both listed as owners but they being legal partners doesn’t change anything, it is as if I bought the house together with a friend or a relative or a stranger.

    • You can look at this from the point of view of children. They’re much more likely to live with two biological parents in the typical European country than in the U.S. See for some data.

      “The USA has the highest proportion [among 16 countries] of children, as much as 50 percent, with any experience of living outside a two-parent family when they turn 15. … in many Western and Eastern European countries it is more common to find that around a fourth or a third of all children have an experience of that kind, at some time during childhood. … The USA stands out as an extreme case… “

  4. The au pair would already be a step ahead of Trump’s accuser with proof they were in the same place at the same time.

Comments are closed.