Jurors have reached a verdict today in the lawsuit filed by advice columnist for Elle magazine E. Jean Carroll in which she accuses former President Donald Trump of raping her in a luxury Manhattan store dressing room in 1996.
The verdict was announced at 3 p.m. in a federal courtroom in New York City, with the jury finding that Trump did not rape Carroll but that he did “sexually abuse” her and does have to pay a fine. CGTN, tweeting about the verdict, said:
U.S. Jury finds Donald Trump did not rape E. Jean Carroll – court hearing in civil trial according to Reuters #CGTNAmerica
Jury awards Carroll $20,000 in punitive damages for battery claim against Trump – court hearing #CGTNAmerica
Jury awards Carroll $2 million in compensatory damages for battery claim against Trump – court hearing #CGTNAmerica
Jury finds Trump defamed Carroll in October 2022 truth social post in which he called her allegations a ‘con job’ – court hearing #CGTNAmerica
Jury awards Carroll $2.7 million in compensatory damages for defamation by Trump – court hearing
The jurors were required to reach a unanimous verdict.
The judge in the case, U.S. District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan, read the instructions on the law to the nine-person jury a little before noon, when the jury began to discuss the claims in the case and decide on Trump’s guilt. Judge Kaplan told the jury that they can award compensatory and punitive damages to Carroll if they believe that Trump, who was not attending the trial, raped Carroll. The AP, reporting on Judge Kaplan’s instructions, said:
Kaplan told jurors that the first question on the verdict form will be to decide whether they think there is more than a 50% chance that Trump raped Carroll inside a store dressing room. If they answer yes, they will then decide whether compensatory and punitive damages should be awarded.
If they answer no on the rape question, they can then decide if Trump subjected her to lesser forms of assault involving sexual contact without her consent or forcible touching to degrade her or gratify his sexual desire. If they answer yes on either of those questions, they will decide if damages are appropriate.
On defamation claims stemming from a statement Trump made on social media last October, Kaplan said jurors must be guided by a higher legal standard — clear and convincing evidence. He said they would have to agree it was “highly probable” that Trump’s statement was false and was made maliciously with deliberate intent to injure or out of hatred or ill will with reckless disregard for Carroll’s rights.
Trump, for his part, has said that he has never met Carroll and certainly never raped her. Posting on Truth social while awaiting the jury’s decision, he said they were deciding on a “False Accusation” and complained that he is “not allowed to speak or defend myself, even as hard nosed reporters scream questions about this case at me.” He added that he “will appeal the Unconstitutional silencing of me … no matter the outcome!”
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