A federal jury in New York has found Donald Trump responsible for the sexual assault and defamation of former journalist E. Jean Carroll in the 1990s. Although the jury did not find that Trump raped her, the former president will have to compensate her with $5 million in damages. Trump has called the verdict “a disgrace” and claimed to have no idea who Carroll is. Carroll sued Trump last year for rape and defamation after he called her revelation of the assault in a book she published in 2019 a “complete fraud,” “fabrication,” and “lie.”
During the two-week trial, in which Trump did not appear, Carroll admitted to feeling “ashamed” by the assault, which has prevented her from having a romantic relationship since then. Carroll’s defense presented two other women who said they had been victims of sexual assault by Trump as witnesses in the trial. Nearly a dozen women accused Trump of sexual assault before the 2016 elections, in which he became president of the United States.
Trump had never been convicted by the justice system before this sentence. In a video of the sworn statement he made to Carroll’s lawyer, Roberta Kaplan, last October and shown to the jury, Trump called the former journalist a “liar” and “sick.” Trump’s lawyers accused her of inventing the assault for “money, political reasons, and status.”
The case is one of the legal challenges facing Trump. Last month, he pleaded not guilty in a criminal case related to a hush-money payment to buy the silence of a porn star just before the 2016 election. He is also being investigated for his efforts to overturn his defeat in the 2020 election in the state of Georgia, his alleged mishandling of classified documents taken from the White House, and his involvement in the January 6, 2021, assault on the US Capitol by his supporters.
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