Jurors ruled on Tuesday that former US president Donald Trump did not rape magazine writer E Jean Carroll, but rather sexually abused her in the 1990s and then defamed her by calling her a liar. This gives the former US President a legal setback as he campaigns for reelection in 2024.
In Manhattan federal court, a jury of nine members awarded approximately $5 million in punitive and compensatory damages.
On the first day of jury deliberations, the verdict was announced in a federal courtroom in New York City. Carroll’s claims that she was raped were rejected by the jury, but they found Trump guilty of sexually abusing her.
Before the nine-person jury began discussing Carroll’s allegations of battery and defamation shortly before noon, US District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan had read legal instructions to the jury.
Trump has maintained that he never knew Carroll or sexually assaulted her. He was not present at the trial.
According to Kaplan, the first question on the verdict form asked the jurors if they thought Trump raped Carroll in a store dressing room.
On the off chance that they addressed indeed, they would then decide whether compensatory and punitive damages should be awarded.
If they didn’t say yes to the rape question, they could then decide if Trump harmed her in less serious ways, like by having sex with her without her consent or by forcing her to touch him in order to hurt her or satisfy his sexual desire.
They will decide whether damages are appropriate if they answered yes to either of those questions.
On slander claims originating from an assertion Trump made via social media last October, Kaplan said members of the jury should have been directed by a higher legitimate norm — clear and persuading proof.
He stated that they would need to agree that it was “highly probable” that Trump’s statement was false and was made maliciously with the intention of harming Carroll or out of hatred or ill will with no regard for his rights.
In the meantime, Trump made a new social media post in which he lamented that he is currently awaiting the verdict of the jury “on a False Accusation.”
” He said he is “not allowed to speak or defend myself, even as hard nosed reporters scream questions about this case at me. ”
Trump said he will not speak until after the trial, “but will appeal the Unconstitutional silencing of me no matter the outcome!”
Even though Trump’s attorney, Joe Tacopina, stated on Thursday that his client would not testify, the judge extended Trump’s invitation to testify through the weekend despite Trump’s refusal to attend the trial, which is currently in its third week.
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