The Utah Supreme Court has heard arguments in a lawsuit against a former federal judge accused of sexually assaulting a teenage witness when he was a prosecutor handling a white supremacist serial-killer trial.
The case heard Monday is a key test of a law aimed at allowing people who say they were sexually abused to sue decades later.
The suit was filed by a woman who says Richard W. Roberts, who went on to be a federal judge, abused her in Utah in 1981.
Roberts has acknowledged he had sex with the woman when she was 16, but he said it was consensual. His lawyers want the lawsuit dismissed, arguing the claims are too old.
They’re challenging a 2016 state law that lifted the statute of limitations on lawsuits in sexual abuse cases to recognize that it often takes victims years to confront what happened.