Trump found liable for sexual battery, defamation in E. Jean Carroll trial

Source: The Hill | May 9, 2023 | Zach Schonfeld

A jury found that former President Trump sexually abused writer E. Jean Carroll in the mid-1990s and later defamed her by denying her claims, marking the first time that Trump has been found liable for sexual misconduct at a trial.

The nine-member jury found that Trump did not commit rape, but jurors found him liable for sexual abuse, another form of sexual battery, according to the Associated Press. He was also ordered to pay Carroll a total of $5 million in damages.

As a civil case, Carroll had to prove her claims by a preponderance of evidence. Trump faces no related criminal charges, which would have required a higher standard.

During the nearly two-week-long trial in federal court, Carroll told jurors that Trump raped her in a Bergdorf Goodman dressing room in New York City during the spring of 1996. 

“I’m here because Donald Trump raped me, and when I wrote about it, he said it didn’t happen,” Carroll testified. “He lied and shattered my reputation, and I’m here to try and get my life back.”

She came forward publicly in 2019, when an excerpt of her forthcoming book was released in New York magazine. The former president repeatedly denied Carroll’s story, claiming she made it up to sell the book.


Trump still faces another lawsuit that Carroll filed against him roughly two years earlier.

That case sues Trump for defamation over his initial denials when Carroll came forward in 2019. But that suit has been held up over a debate regarding Trump’s immunity, since he made those statements while in office.

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