A judge says the alleged victim did not prove she was incapable of filing a suit within six years.

PORTLAND (AP) – A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit brought by a woman who said she was gang-raped 32 years ago at the York County Jail.

U.S. District Court Judge D. Brock Hornby said Kristin Douglas did not sufficiently prove she was mentally ill when she was allegedly attacked while jailed on a misdemeanor charge in 1971 and living in Biddeford.

Whether Douglas was raped was not considered. Arguments were limited to whether her mental state was sufficiently incapacitating to ignore the six-year statute of limitations on the alleged crime.

In his written decision, Hornby said Douglas failed to prove she suffered from a mental illness so severe it prevented her from protecting her legal rights by filing the lawsuit within the six-year period.

The suit asked for $20 million for physical and emotional illness and distress, lost earning capacity, medical bills, loss of enjoyment of life and other damages.

Douglas’ lawyer, Thomas Hallett of Portland, said his client was unable to bring the lawsuit until 2002 because of her mental condition.

In her lawsuit, Douglas claimed she was already suffering mental illnesses as a result of an abusive upbringing before becoming pregnant after being gang-raped repeatedly over a period of several days.

Gene Libby, the county’s lawyer, argued that Douglas was a functioning member of society who registered to vote, kept a checking account, attended college, held jobs and paid rent.

Douglas has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental illnesses, the documents show.

According to court documents, she received psychological treatment starting in 1982 but had not been a patient in a psychiatric hospital and did not take medication until 1994.

AP-ES-06-04-03 1724EDT



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