On Tuesday, the jury in E. Jean Carroll’s rape and defamation civil suit against Donald Trump found the former president liable for sexually abusing Carroll in 1996 and defaming her in 2019 when she first went public with her claim, awarding Carroll a $5 million judgment, the Associated Press reported.
However, the jury rejected Carroll’s claim that Trump raped her, opting instead to find Trump liable for the lesser degree of sexual abuse.
Carroll filed her civil claim against Trump under a New York law that allows adult victims of sexual assault to sue their rapist in civil court after the statute of limitations on criminal charges has passed.
In a 2019 book, Carroll alleged that Trump had raped her in a Bergdorf Goodman dressing room in Manhattan in the 1990s. In addition to suing Trump for the alleged rape, Carroll also sued the former president for defamation over comments he made about her after she initially went public with the allegation.
After the jury verdict was announced just three hours after deliberations began, Carroll hugged her supporters and was heard laughing and crying as the courtroom was cleared.
The former president immediately blasted the jury verdict on Truth Social, claiming again that he didn’t know Carroll. Calling the verdict “a disgrace,” Trump vowed to appeal.
Outside the courthouse, Trump’s attorney Joseph Tacopina told reporters that it was “perplexing” and “strange” that the jury would find Trump liable for sexual abuse when it rejected Carroll’s claim of rape. At the same time, Tacopina said he is “very happy” that Trump did not get “branded a rapist.”
In a written statement after Tuesday’s verdict, Carroll’s attorney Roberta Kaplan said the jury confirmed that nobody, “not even the president of the United States,” is above the law.
Trump has consistently denied Carroll’s claim.
Before the jury reached its verdict, the Trump-supporting blog The National File scoured Carroll’s social media accounts for posts that might sully her reputation.
Of course, the blog’s efforts did nothing to stop the $5 million judgment.