A Manhattan jury found former US president Donald Trump guilty of sexual abuse of E. Jean Carroll, a magazine writer, on Tuesday. The jury also found Trump liable for defamation since he had dismissed the case against him as a “hoax” and a “complete con job.”
After deliberating for three hours, the jurors in the civil trial held Trump liable for “battery” and defamation of Carroll, but not rape. The ex-president was ordered to pay the writer $5 million in damages.
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Carroll had accused Trump of raping her in the dressing room of a Fifth Avenue department store back in the 1990s, but failed to prove he had actually engaged with her in sexual intercourse, and did so without consent.
Senior US District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan, presiding over the case, noted that sexual intercourse includes “any penetration of the penis into the vaginal opening.”
Trump has consistently denied ever having met Carroll and insisted the entire trial was politically motivated.
“I have absolutely no idea who this woman is. This verdict is a disgrace — a continuation of the greatest witch hunt of all time!” Trump posted on Truth Social shortly after the verdict.
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Multiple outlets have reported that Carroll’s lawsuit was proposed by anti-Trump activist George Conway, and funded by billionaire LinkedIn founded Reid Hoffman — a major donor to the Democrats.
Outside of the courthouse in Lower Manhattan, Donald J. Trump’s lawyer, Joseph Tacopina, said the trial had been unfair in several ways and his client intended to appeal the verdict.
Mr. Tacopina said Judge Lewis A. Kaplan, who oversaw the case in federal court, had displayed a bias toward Ms. Carroll in several decisions. He called the court “highly prejudicial.”
For starters, Mr. Tacopina said, the judge allowed E. Jean Carroll’s lawyers to play for the jury the Access Hollywood tape in which Mr. Trump boasted about how his status as a celebrity gave him the ability to kiss and grab women’s genitalia without asking.
“There were things that happened in this case that were beyond the pale,” Mr. Tacopina said. He added: “In New York you can’t get a fair trial.”
Mr. Tacopina defended Mr. Trump’s decision not to testify.