Lawyer seeks injunction against rapper's anatomy

SEATTLE — KIRO 7 discovered something very intriguing, paging through a new lawsuit against the rapper Nelly after an alleged sexual assault in Seattle.

It contains an unusual request for a court order that would prohibit him from using a specific part of his body.

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Seattle attorney Karen Koehler is representing three women she says the rapper sexually assaulted.

In this court document, she is asking a judge for an order against his most private of parts.

"I hate to criticize a colleague but I don't think there's any kind of case law that says you can sue a penis," said longtime women's advocate and lawyer Judith Lonnquist. 

That was her reaction to a lawsuit seeking an injunction against a part of the anatomy of rapper Nelly that three women, including this University of Washington student, say he used to sexually assault them. 

"Well, (aren't you) suing him and saying that he needs to use, stop using his private part in any illegal way?" Lonnquist was asked by KIRO 7.

"Yeah he does," said Lonnquist. "But what more do you get if you if you sue him for an injunction and then you add his penis? It's the same relief."

Since allegations of sexual misconduct were made against movie mogul Harvey Weinstein last October, dozens of women and men have come forward with similar stories about a great many very public men. And many of them have lost their jobs, seemingly overnight. 

Lonnquist has made a career of representing sexual assault victims. She says the most important thing is fairness.

"Whether you happen to be a C.E.O. or a rank-and-file employee, you're entitled to some modicum of fairness," Lonnquist said. "So I think the appropriate manner of handling these cases is to put the person who's accused on administrative leave, do a full and fair investigation and then make a determination."

Then is this latest legal move against the rapper Nelly - best known for his song "Hot in Here" - taking the issue too far?

"I think maybe this is a trick to get our attention, but I think it has the wrong symbolism and the wrong meaning," said University of Washington sex expert Pepper Schwartz. She spoke from Idaho.  

"Now, whether or not this happened is not for me to judge," Schwartz said. "But if it did, it's the man who should be in our sights, not any specific 'equipment.'"

In fact, a judge will be the one to decide whether the injunction has merit. KIRO 7 will let you know when a ruling is issued.