Donald Trump found guilty of sexually abusing E Jean Carroll
Donald Trump sexually abused writer E Jean Carroll in the 1990s and then defamed her by branding her a liar, a United States jury has decided, delivering a legal blow to the former US president as he seeks re-election in 2024.
The verdict was read out in a Manhattan federal court on Tuesday afternoon, just hours after jurors began deliberating following a seven-day civil trial.
Carroll had accused the former US president of sexually assaulting her in a New York City department store in the mid-1990s and then defaming her by dismissing her story – told in a 2019 memoir – as a “con job”.
The nine-member jury determined that the ex-president did not rape Carroll, but they did find him liable for sexual abuse and defamation, The New York Times, CNN and other US news outlets reported.
The jurors awarded the former Elle magazine columnist approximately $5m in compensatory and punitive damages. Because this was a civil case, Trump faces no criminal consequences.
The former president, 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.
His legal team did not present a defence, instead gambling that jurors would find that Carroll had failed to make a persuasive case.
“What E Jean Carroll has done here is an affront to justice. She has abused this system by bringing a false claim for — amongst other things — money, status, political reasons,” Trump’s lawyer, Joe Tacopina, said during closing arguments this week.
But Carroll’s lawyer Roberta Kaplan on Monday said a 2005 Access Hollywood video in which Trump said women let him “grab ’em by the p***y” bolstered the accounts of Carroll and other women who accuse Trump of sexual assault.
“He admitted on video to doing exactly the kinds of things that have brought us here to this courtroom,” Kaplan said in her closing argument on Monday.
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