News Room

Using Anti-Sex Trafficking Laws and Repeal of Antiquated “Anti-Heart-Balm” Laws for Intimate Partner Sex Abuse Cases Seminar

This program presented by KBK partner Anastasia Mazzella and KBK attorney Annie Martin-McDonough discusses limitations in existing law and examines innovative ways to bring civil claims against intimate partners in sex abuse cases. Existing law provides a remedy for victims of forced sexual abuse, but options are often limited for victims who are coerced into sexual relationships through nonphysical means. This program explores those situations where abusers obtain supposed consent using drugs, lies, grooming tactics, and other forms of manipulation, and seeks to offer two potential avenues for redress. The seminar looks at an emerging trend in the law that has successfully used the Trafficking Victims Protection Act and RICO against perpetrators who have abused multiple intimate partners. Second, it explores the potential consequence of repealing antiquated state laws known as “anti-heart-balm” statutes.