Jury finds Donald Trump liable for battery and defamation in E. Jean Carroll case


A Manhattan jury unanimously found former President Donald Trump liable for battery and defamation in the sexual assault case brought by E. Jean Carroll. The jury found, beyond a preponderance of evidence, that Trump unlawfully touch Carroll without her consent in a New York City department store in the 1990s. However, it did not reach a unanimous agreement that he raped Carroll. For Trump to face punishment, the jury had to unanimously determine that Carroll’s claims had been proven by a preponderance of evidence, a lower bar of scrutiny than beyond a reasonable doubt.

According to NBC News, after receiving instructions on the law and a 10-question verdict from by U.S. District Court Judge Lewis Kaplan, the jury entered deliberations shortly before noon. The six men and three women on the jury were charged with determining if Trump sexually assaulted Carroll or defamed her by publicly accusing her of lying about the alleged incident. The jury ruled that Trump must pay $2 million in compensation and $20,000 in punitive damages for battery. For defamation, the jury awarded Carroll $1.7 million for reputational repair and $1 million in compensatory damages and $280,000 in punitive damages.

Judge Kaplan had given Trump until Sunday afternoon to determine whether or not he would take the stand in the rape case, which he declined to do. Carroll had alleged that Trump raped her in a department store dressing room in the 1990s. Two witnesses for the prosecution testified that Carroll told them about the assault shortly after it happened; and Jessica Leeds and Natasha Stoynoff testified that Trump had similarly sexually assaulted them in separate incidents. Though Trump did not testify in the case, video of his deposition by Carroll’s attorneys was made public on Friday.

Trump’s defense team has repeatedly claimed that the case against the former president is politically motivated. In closing statements on Monday, Trump attorney Joe Tacopina said the jury must disregard its feelings about Trump and focus on the facts of the case: “People have very strong feelings about Donald Trump. There’s a time and a secret place to do that. It’s called a ballot box during an election.” On his Truth Social social media page earlier on Tuesday, Trump reasserted his dismissal of the allegations against him:  “In the meantime, the other side has a book falsely accusing me of rape, and is working with the press. I will therefore not speak until after the trial, but will appeal the unconstitutional silencing of me, as a candidate, no matter the outcome!”

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