Jury Finds Trump Liable for Sexual Abuse and Defamation in E. Jean Carroll Case

In a recent development, a US jury has determined that former President Donald Trump sexually abused writer E. Jean Carroll in the 1990s and subsequently defamed her by dismissing her allegations as lies. This decision has dealt a significant legal setback to Trump, who is eyeing a return to the White House in the 2024 elections.

Jury Finds Trump Liable for Sexual Abuse and Defamation in E. Jean Carroll Case
Trump and E. Jean Carroll

The verdict was announced in a Manhattan federal court on Tuesday afternoon, after jurors deliberated for only a few hours following the conclusion of a seven-day civil trial. Carroll had claimed that Trump sexually assaulted her in a New York City department store in the mid-1990s, and then defamed her by discrediting her account, which was shared in her 2019 memoir, as a “con job.”

Although the nine-member jury did not find Trump guilty of rape, they held him liable for both sexual abuse and defamation, as reported by The New York Times, CNN, and other major US news organizations. As a result, Carroll, a former columnist for Elle magazine, was awarded approximately $5 million in compensatory and punitive damages. However, due to the civil nature of the case, Trump will not face criminal penalties.

Steven Cheung, a spokesman for Trump, announced on Tuesday that the former president would appeal the verdict, which means he will not have to pay the awarded damages while the case remains on appeal. Trump, who did not attend the trial in New York, had previously dismissed Carroll’s allegations as a ploy to harm him politically and promote sales of her 2019 memoir.

Trump’s legal team opted not to present a defense, instead relying on the possibility that jurors would find Carroll’s case unconvincing. During closing arguments this week, Trump’s attorney Joe Tacopina stated that Carroll’s actions were “an affront to justice” and accused her of exploiting the legal system for monetary gain, status, and political reasons.

However, Carroll’s attorney, Roberta Kaplan, argued on Monday that a 2005 Access Hollywood video, in which Trump bragged about grabbing women by their genitals, supported the accounts of Carroll and other women who have accused 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 during her closing argument on Monday.

Upon hearing the verdict on Tuesday, Carroll held hands with her attorneys. She later left the courthouse with Kaplan, smiling and donning sunglasses, before getting into a car without addressing the media.

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