A New York jury found former President Donald Trump guilty of sexual assault and violence against writer E. Jean Carroll was found not guilty of rape three decades ago and was granted $5 million in civil damages.
The jury also ruled that Trump defamed Ms. Carroll in his responses to her complaint, which was promoted by anti-Trump lawyer George Conway and supported by Democrat mega-donor Reid Hoffman, an associate of the late convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
After a few hours of discussion, the jury rendered its conclusion following a trial in which U.S. Judge Lewis Kaplan, a Bill Clinton appointment, permitted the inclusion of character evidence, including the notorious Access Hollywood tape.
Trump made the decision not to testify in his own defense. Instead, a video of his statement in the case was shown, in which he stated that he had no recollection of Ms. Carroll and would not have been drawn to her (or her lawyer).
Carroll had difficulty recalling the day or even the year of the alleged sexual assault, but the court controversially permitted other women to testify that they had similar encounters with Trump.
Except in extremely limited situations, such evidence of character — trying to establish that a person committed specific conduct based on a purported proclivity to do similar actions — is usually inadmissible.
Because the case was not a criminal one, the plaintiff's legal team was free to criticize Trump's unwillingness to testify, and the jury was free to draw unfavorable conclusions from it.
Former President Trump reacted on Truth Social, his social media platform, saying: “I HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA WHO THIS WOMAN IS. THIS VERDICT IS A DISGRACE – A CONTINUATION OF THE GREATEST WITCH HUNT OF ALL TIME!”
Tara Reade, a former Capitol Hill employee who accused President Joseph Biden of sexual assault in the early 1990s while he was in the Senate, was recently called to appear before Congress about her accusations.
Trump intends to challenge the jury's ruling.
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