A civil jury has ruled against former President Donald Trump in the case brought by E. Jean Carroll, a former magazine columnist. Trump was found liable for sexual abuse and defamation, with the jury awarding Carroll $5 million in damages. However, the jury rejected her rape claim. The decision came just hours after the jury received the case on Tuesday.
Trump predictably called the verdict a “disgrace” and the trial a “witch hunt” on his Truth Social platform.
Throughout the trial, U.S. District Court Judge Lewis Kaplan maintained the anonymity of the nine-member jury due to Trump’s history of verbal attacks in relation to his April indictment for hush money payments to Stormy Daniels. Carroll had accused Trump of raping her in a department store changing room in the mid-1990s and then lying about and defaming her afterward.
Carroll’s legal team presented evidence of Trump’s past behavior, including the infamous Access Hollywood tape and testimonies from two other women, Jessica Leeds and Natasha Stoynoff, who accused Trump of sexually assaulting them. In total, over 20 women have accused Trump of sexual misconduct or assault.
During his video deposition, Trump mistakenly identified a young Carroll as his ex-wife Marla Maples, despite claiming she wasn’t his “type.” He also failed to recall the dates of his various marriages when questioned by Carroll’s lawyer.
Trump’s lawyers attempted to portray Carroll as an attention-seeker and suggested her accusations were politically motivated. However, they called no witnesses to support their claims. Carroll, on the other hand, has stated that the Me Too movement inspired her to come forward with her story.
Carroll first sued Trump for defamation in 2019, but that case has been postponed indefinitely due to legal complications. The trial that concluded this week stemmed from a separate lawsuit Carroll filed in 2022 under New York’s Adult Survivors Act, which provided a limited window for victims of sexual assault to file civil claims beyond the state’s statute of limitations.
As the dust settles from the trial, readers of The Young Turks (TYT) will no doubt be interested to see what this verdict means for Trump and the broader conversations surrounding sexual assault and accountability.