Attorney Hopes to Appeal Incest Suit
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) _ A federal judge has ruled that the statute of limitations had run out and dismissed a $600,000 lawsuit filed by an incest victim against her father.
U.S. District Judge John T. Elfvin on Monday threw out Jeanne Allyn’s 1985 lawsuit against Franklin K. Smith. Elfvin said Ms. Allyn, 33, of Plainfield, Vt., had until age 21 to sue for any alleged injuries suffered as a child.
He rejected her claim that the alleged abuse caused a psychological disorder that prevented her from suing within the legal time limit. Ms. Allyn would have known by the time she was 18 that ″wrongs had been committed,″ Elfvin said.
The alleged sexual acts ended nearly 20 years before Ms. Allyn sued, according to court documents.
Alan Rosenfeld, Ms. Allyn’s attorney, said it would be up to his client whether to appeal. ″Obviously I’m disappointed,″ he said. ″I certainly still hope she intends to appeal. I’m still committed to arguing the case as far as necessary.″
Smith, 59, of Clarence Center, N.Y., confessed to molesting his daughter when a complaint was filed against him in 1963 in Tonawanda, N.Y., but was never prosecuted, Rosenfeld said.
The judge ruled that there was no indication that Smith either hid the wrongs or deceived his daughter in a way that prevented her from understanding, after she reached 18, that a wrong was committed.
″I’m very happy, obviously,″ said Smith’s attorney, Anthony C. Ben, although he added he expected Ms. Allyn to appeal.
Rosenfeld had argued that Smith deprived his daughter of her ability to make decisions through a pattern of intimidation and abuse, indoctrinating her to believe she was bad, she must not tell and that no one would believe her.