Crime & Justice

Jury finds Trump guilty of sexual abuse, defamation

(Update 1: Adds info about jury decision)

New York, May 9 (EFE).- A New York jury on Tuesday deliberated for only a couple of hours before finding former President Donald Trump liable for “sexual abuse” and defamation of writer E. Jean Carroll, although not of raping her, in a case she filed relating to an incident in the mid-1990s.

This is the first time that the 76-year-old Trump, who is currently running for another non-consecutive term as president, has been found guilty of any crime since leaving office in January 2021, although in January his company, the Trump Organization, was ordered to pay $1.61 million for its role in a tax evasion scheme.

Carroll, 79, accused Trump of having raped her in the dressing room of a large New York department store in the mid-1990s and then of defaming her when she decided to go public with her complaint against him in a book she published in 2019.

The jury awarded the writer about $5 million in damages, specifically $2 million for “damages” caused by Trump in the attack and $2.7 million for his actions to harm Carroll’s reputation, most notably for repeatedly calling her a liar for accusing him of attacking her.

Because this was a civil case, Trump will not have to serve any prison time and the verdict does not affect his ability – or eligibility – to run for president.

Judge Lewis Kaplan warned those in the courtroom not to cheer or applaud, or react in any other way, when the verdict was pronounced, and Carroll, who attended the court session – although Trump elected never to be physically present all through the trial – showed no immediate reaction to the conviction, which was also noteworthy for the speed with which the jury arrived at it.

The judge also advised the jury that, although they have no obligation to remain anonymous – as they have been, on his order, up to now – they should refrain from revealing their role in the trial or providing any information about how it played out or how they arrived at their decision.

“My advice to you is not to identify yourselves. Not now and not for a long time,” Kaplan said. “If you’re one who elects to speak to others and to identify yourselves to others, I direct you not to identify anyone else who sat on this jury. Each of you owes that to the other whatever you decided for yourself.”

Kaplan also asked the attorneys on both sides whether they had anything to add after the verdict was delivered, and both teams answered no.

Carroll left the courtroom after the verdict without making any remarks to the many journalists on hand to report on the trial.

Shortly after the verdict was announced, Trump took to his Truth Social social network to call the decision “a disgrace.”


In the past, Trump has called Carroll a “liar” and “mentally ill” for accusing him of raping and defaming her, claiming that she was seeking only money, fame and notoriety by leveling such charges against him.

Earlier on Tuesday, before asking them to retire and begin deliberating on their verdict, Kaplan had asked the jury on their “verdict sheet” if Carroll had proven “by a preponderance of the evidence” that “Mr. Trump raped Ms. Carroll” and the nine-person jury checked the box that said “no.” When asked if Carroll had proven “by a preponderance of the evidence” that “Mr. Trump sexually abused Ms. Carroll,” the jury checked the box that said “yes.”

Both allegations were elements of Carroll’s battery claim against the ex-president.

During the trial, Carroll’s attorneys had called two other women who claim that Trump assaulted them in a similar manner to give testimony.

Trump is the first US president in history to be found civilly liable for sexual misconduct.

Meanwhile, Trump’s campaign team reacted to the verdict, saying: “Make no mistake, this entire bogus case is a political endeavor targeting President Trump because he is now an overwhelming front-runner to be once again elected President of the United States. This case will be appealed, and we will ultimately win,” the campaign said in a statement.

“We have allowed false and totally made-up claims from troubled individuals to interfere with our elections, doing great damage,” Trump’s campaign added.

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