On Tuesday, May 10, a civil jury found former US President Donald Trump guilty of sexually assaulting writer E. Jean Carroll in a New York department store during the 1990s.
The nine-person jury, consisting of six men and three women, also found Trump guilty of defaming Carroll last year when he dismissed her claim of sexual assault.
The trial began on April 25, and the jury took less than three hours to reach their verdict. The jury ordered Trump to pay a total of $5 million in compensatory and punitive damages to Carroll.
Elle magazine columnist wins lawsuit against Trump
Carroll, a former advice columnist for “Elle” magazine and biographer of Hunter S. Thompson, filed a lawsuit against Trump last year after he denied her allegations of sexual assault in a 2019 article in “New York” magazine.
Although the jury did not find Trump liable for rape, it concluded that he had sexually abused and forcibly touched Carroll without her consent, thus substantiating her civil claim of battery.
Carroll filed the lawsuit to get her life back
Carroll stated in a press release that she filed the lawsuit “to clear my name and to get my life back.”
She said the verdict had revealed the truth about Trump’s misconduct and was a victory for all women who have suffered because their accounts were not believed.
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Verdict that tears down walls of ‘doubt’ and ‘intimidation’
Carroll’s lawyer, Roberta Kaplan, expressed similar sentiments, stating that “no one is above the law, not even a former President of the United States.”
Kaplan added that the verdict is essential to tearing down the wall of doubt and intimidation that sexual assault survivors have faced for far too long.
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Trump criticizes court verdict, calls it ‘perplexing’
Trump, who never appeared in court or testified at the trial, criticized the verdict in a post on his social media site, Truth Social.
He wrote that he had “absolutely no idea who this woman is” and called the verdict a disgrace.
His lawyer, Joseph Tacopina, expressed confusion over the verdict, stating that the jury rejected Carroll’s claim of rape but found Trump liable for sexual abuse, which he found “perplexing.”
Tacopina also announced that Trump would appeal the decision.
Legal woes continue for Trump; pleads not guilty
This verdict marks the most recent legal setback for Trump, who leads early polls for the 2024 GOP nomination.
In March, he was indicted on nearly three dozen counts of falsifying business records related to a 2016 payment to Stormy Daniels, a porn star.
Trump has pleaded not guilty to those charges. Additionally, he faces federal criminal investigations for his role in overturning his loss in the 2020 presidential election and for his failure to surrender government documents after leaving the White House.
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The ‘statute of limitations’ is not a barrier to justice
The trial’s outcome cannot lead to Trump’s prosecution for the alleged rape of Carroll, as the statute of limitations for such a crime has long since passed.
Carroll sued Trump for battery under a New York state law passed in late 2022, which opened a one-year window for lawsuits alleging sexual assaults that the statute of limitations would otherwise bar.
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