Trump guilty of sexually abusing E. Jean Carroll, declares US jury
A United States jury has found that former US president Donald Trump sexually assaulted writer E Jean Carroll in the 1990s and then defamed her by labeling her a liar, dealing a legal blow to Trump as he campaigns for re-election in 2024.
The jury deliberated for seven days, and the judgment was read in a Manhattan federal court on Tuesday afternoon.
Former US president was accused of defaming Carroll after she claimed he sexually assaulted her in a New York City department store in the 1990s and then dismissed her story as a “con job” in a 2019 memoir.
On Tuesday, the nine-person jury announced its verdict, reporting that while the ex-president was not guilty of raping Carroll, he was guilty of sexual abuse and slander.
The jury awarded the ex-columnist for Elle magazine over $5 million in damages (compensatory and punitive). Trump is not subject to any criminal liability as a result of this case as it was a civil suit.
On Tuesday, his spokesman Steven Cheung indicated the ex-president would file an appeal. As long as the verdict is being appealed, he will not have to pay the damages.
On Tuesday, when the verdict was being announced, Carroll and her attorneys stood hand in hand. She smiled and wore sunglasses as she left the courthouse with Kaplan and got into a car without addressing the media.
Carroll added in a statement released later in the day, “I filed this lawsuit against Donald Trump to clear my name and to get my life back.” “Today, the world finally knows the truth. This victory is not just for me but for every woman who has suffered because she was not believed.”
Trump, who did not attend the New York trial, had dismissed Carroll’s allegations as part of an effort to hurt him politically and drum up sales for her 2019 memoir.
Trump immediately lashed out with a statement on his social media site, claiming again that he does not know Carroll and referring to Tuesday’s verdict as “a disgrace” and “a continuation of the greatest witch hunt of all time”.
Florence stated, “But it doesn’t seem that there was anything egregious [with the trial] that jumps out that says he is going to prevail,” indicating that the verdict would “very likely” be upheld.
Trump’s legal team took a chance that the jury wouldn’t buy Carroll’s case and didn’t provide a defense on his behalf.
What E Jean Carroll has done in this case is an insult to the rule of law. During closing statements this week, Trump’s attorney Joe Tacopina said, “She has abused this system by bringing a false claim for — among other things — money, status, and political reasons.”
On Monday, however, Carroll’s attorney Roberta Kaplan claimed that a video from 2005 in which Trump boasted women let him “grab ’em by the p***y” lent credence to the claims of Carroll and other women who have accused Trump of sexual assault.
Kaplan said in her Monday final argument, “He admitted on video to doing exactly the kinds of things that have brought us here to this courtroom.”
Trump is still the early favourite for the Republican nomination in 2024, but it is unknown how the verdict will affect his political aspirations.
Charlie Gerow, a GOP strategist in Pennsylvania, told Reuters that he did not believe that the incident would sway undecided voters. He also predicted that those who were already opposed to Trump would not change their minds.
In addition to the Justice Department investigation into his alleged mishandling of secret data, the former president faces criminal charges in New York related to a hush-money payment made to a porn star in 2016.