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Doe v. Haynes

United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division

June 12, 2019

JANE DOE, Plaintiff,
v.
CORNELL HAYNES JR., et al., Defendants.

          OPINION, MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          HENRY EDWARD AUTREY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Introduction

         This matter is before the Court on Defendant Cornell Haynes, Jr.'s Motion to Dismiss Case, [Doc. No. 7]. Plaintiff opposes the Motion. For the reasons set forth below, the motion is denied.

         Facts and Background

         Plaintiff's First Amended Complaint alleges the following:[1]

         Plaintiff Jane Doe (“Plaintiff”) is a citizen and resident of Essex, England.

         Defendant Cornell Haynes Jr. (“Defendant”) is an entertainer who resides in St.

         Louis, Missouri and performs using the stage name “Nelly.” At the time of the events giving rise to this action, Defendant was on tour, performing in the United Kingdom.

         On December 5, 2017, Plaintiff attended Defendant's concert in Essex, England with some female friends. After the show, Defendant asked Plaintiff, who had had her photo taken with Defendant, to go with him to his dressing room. Plaintiff insisted that her friends come to the dressing room. Defendant asked Plaintiff to join him in a small adjacent room. When Plaintiff complied, Defendant closed the door leaving the two of them alone together. At that point, Defendant proceeded to sexually assault Plaintiff. During the assault, Defendant allegedly dropped his pants and masturbated, tried to put his hands under and remove Plaintiff's top, tried to kiss Plaintiff, made crude sexual statements to Plaintiff, and forcefully pushed Plaintiff down and penetrated her mouth with his penis. Plaintiff ran out of the room and down the stairs, where Defendant pulled her back and said, “I will find you.”

         Plaintiff alleges that she was later defamed by Defendants' girlfriend (codefendant Shantel Jackson, ) who wrote on social media that the women accusing Defendant of sexual assault are liars who “make[ ] things harder” for “women dealing with real issues of sexual assault.” Plaintiff also claims that Defendant furthered the defamation by having his attorney state in a televised interview that Plaintiff's allegations were factually impossible.

         Since the sexual assault, Plaintiff states that she has suffered anxiety, PTSD, emotional trauma, humiliation, loss of reputation, and loss of enjoyment of life. Plaintiff's physicians have diagnosed her with PTSD, prescribed medication, and entered orders saying she is not currently able to return to work.

         Plaintiff filed her Complaint anonymously. Defendant now moves to dismiss the Complaint pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. Defendant argues that the Complaint fails to comply with Rule 10(a), which provides that “[t]he title of the complaint must name all the parties.”

         Motion to Dismiss Standard

         In ruling on a motion to dismiss, the Court must view the allegations in the Complaint liberally in the light most favorable to Plaintiff. Eckert v. Titan Tire Corp., 514 F.3d 801, 806 (8th Cir. 2008). Additionally, the Court, “must accept the allegations contained in the complaint as true and draw all reasonable inferences in favor of the nonmoving party.” Coons v. Mineta, 410 F.3d 1036, 1039 (8th Cir. 2005) (citation omitted). To survive a motion to dismiss, the complaint must include “enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). Stated differently, to survive a ...


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