A jury has held former President Donald Trump liable for sexually assaulting advice columnist E. Jean Carroll in 1996, awarding her $5 million in damages. The verdict was delivered on the first day of deliberations in a Manhattan federal courtroom, following a closely watched trial.
The jurors determined that while there was insufficient evidence to support Carroll’s claim of rape, there was enough evidence to find Trump guilty of sexual abuse. Despite Trump’s persistent denial of the allegations and his assertion that he had never met Carroll, he chose not to attend the trial or testify, declining an invitation to do so. Trump’s attorney, Joe Tacopina, argued during the trial that Carroll’s account was implausible and concocted to promote her 2019 memoir while politically undermining the former president.
Carroll, now 79 years old, recounted her encounter with Trump at the Bergdorf Goodman store, describing an initially playful interaction that turned violent inside a dressing room. Her testimony served as a critical component of the prosecution’s case against Trump.
Following the verdict, Trump expressed his dissent on social media, asserting his innocence and promising to “appeal the Unconstitutional silencing of me, as a candidate, no matter the outcome!”
The jury’s decision marks a significant development in the legal battle between Carroll and Donald Trump. While Carroll’s claim of rape was not upheld, the jury’s finding of Trump’s liability for sexual abuse carries notable repercussions.
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