New York – A jury in federal court in New York yesterday found Donald Trump responsible for sexually assaulting, but not raping, and defaming former journalist E. Jean Carroll, which he will have to compensate with $5 million in damages. and damages.
About three hours it took the nine jurors, six men and three women, to unanimously find Trump responsible for the accusations of the 79-year-old former journalist.
The jury also determined that Trump should pay Carroll $5 million in damages.
Accused only through civil and not criminal proceedings, Trump described the sentence as “shameful”. “I have absolutely no idea who this woman is,” he wrote on his Truth Social network.
It is the first time that Trump, who aspires to return to the White House in the 2024 elections, has been held legally responsible for the string of sexual assault accusations that have been leveled at him.
Carroll sued Trump last year for rape and defamation after he called the revelation in a book he published in 2019 that the Republican tycoon had raped her in a “complete scam,” “false” and “a lie.” luxury department store in the 1990s.
“Today, the world finally knows the truth. This victory is not only for me, but for all the women who have suffered because they were not believed,” Carroll said in a statement, in which she assured that she had filed the lawsuit “to clear my name and get my life back.”
“No one is above the law, not even the former president of the United States,” said Roberta Klapan, her lawyer, who recalled that “for too long survivors of sexual assault have faced a wall of doubt and intimidation ”.
After harsh cross-examination during the two-week trial, Trump’s attorney, Joe Tacopina, went to shake hands with an emotional Carroll after the ruling was delivered.
The ex-journalist left the court smiling without making a statement.
“You are very brave, thank you!” one of the people gathered outside the courthouse in lower Manhattan told Carroll.
Carroll acknowledged at the trial, in which Trump did not appear, that she felt “ashamed” by this assault that has prevented her from having a romantic relationship since then. “It took me a long time to realize that staying silent doesn’t work,” she said.
Two other women, who said they were victims of Trump’s sexual assault, testified at the trial to show that the tycoon responded to a role model.
Trump did not testify during the trial nor did his defense call any witnesses, but in a video of the sworn statement he made to Carroll’s lawyer last October and shown to the jury, he calls the former journalist a “liar” and “sick”.
Trump’s lawyers argued that assault motivated by “money, political reasons and status” had been fabricated.
Carroll relied on a law enacted in November in New York state that gave victims of time-barred sexual assaults a year to sue their alleged attackers.
The former president has other open fronts in justice. Last month, he pleaded not guilty in a criminal case related to paying black money to buy the silence of a porn star just before the 2016 election.