One of Jimmie Allen‘s sexual assault accusers has a message for the embattled country star: You can’t sue me for handing over your cell phone – which she calls “evidence of a crime” – to the police.
The new court filing came from a woman who claims that Allen assaulted her in a Las Vegas hotel room and secretly recorded it. In her June lawsuit, she said she took the phone as evidence and handed it over to police. But in a countersuit last month, Allen claimed she essentially stole his property by doing so.
On Tuesday, Allen’s accuser (known as Jane Doe 2) asked a federal judge to dismiss that accusation – calling his claims about theft “nothing more than harassment of a victim and abuse of the judicial process.”
“Now, in addition to being a victim of sexual abuse and illegal video voyeurism, Plaintiff is faced with Defendant’s attempt to harass and intimidate her,” Doe 2’s lawyers wrote. “Allowing a defendant to sue a crime victim for reporting a crime and turning over evidence of that crime to the police is directly contrary to public policy.”
Allen, a once-rising country music star, has faced a swift industry backlash after being hit with two separate sexual assault lawsuits. The first case, filed on May 11, claims he “manipulated and used his power” to repeatedly harass and assault an unnamed “Jane Doe” on his management team.
The second case, filed on June 9 by Doe 2, claims that while she “willingly joined Allen in the bedroom” of a Las Vegas hotel, he later ejaculated inside her against her explicit wishes – and filmed the entire sexual encounter without her knowledge. Doe 2 says she took the phone with her when she left and, after Allen refused to share the password so she could delete the recordings, that she passed it along to the Las Vegas Police Department.
Last month, Allen responded to both lawsuits by denying all the allegations against him. In the case of Doe 2, he admitted to having “unprotected sex” with her, but said he “did not ejaculate during the encounter.” He also admitted to recording the incident but, crucially, said he had secured her explicit permission to do so.
He also countersued with allegations of his own, accusing Doe 2 of “conversion” — a civil tort similar to theft that involves someone taking property that doesn’t belong to them: “By taking his camera phone without permission, Jane Doe 2 wrongfully exerted a distinct act of dominion over Allen’s personal property,” his lawyers wrote at the time.
In her response on Tuesday, Doe 2’s lawyer say that taking the phone was not a form of civil wrongdoing, but merely “her exercise of rights as a victim of crime.” She cited previous cases that excused such seizures, like one in which a babysitter was sued for taking photos of child abuse.
“Plaintiff turned evidence of alleged illegal conduct, i.e., the recording of Plaintiff in a state of undress and of sexual acts without her consent, over to the police to investigate,” Doe 2’s lawyers wrote. “The law does not condemn victims for doing so.”
In a statement to Billboard on Wednesday, Allen’s lawyers disagreed with Doe 2’s arguments: “We will leave it to the court to determine if taking something without permission is conversion (or stealing) — a lesson that most of us learned when we were young. The facts here don’t support what Jane Doe 2 is claiming, and we look forward to the legal process moving forward and clearing Jimmie’s name.”