Donald Trump has suffered a significant legal defeat as a Manhattan jury ruled in favor of writer E. Jean Carroll in her civil lawsuit against him.
The jury found Trump liable for sexually abusing and forcibly touching Carroll in a dressing room in 1990, as well as defaming her by accusing her of fabricating the incident.
The verdict was announced on Tuesday afternoon in a Manhattan court, leaving the former president of the United States and 2020 election loser to face the consequences of his actions.
As a result of the jury’s decision, Trump has been ordered to pay $5 million in damages to Carroll.
The jury did not find him liable for rape due to the statute of limitations having passed, the ruling still serves as a major blow to the former president’s reputation.
Trump now carries the legal label of a sexual predator, not only for the rest of his life but also throughout history.
Supporters who continue to stand by him will have to do so knowing that he has been found responsible for such egregious behavior.
Carroll, a 79-year-old writer, smiled as the verdict was announced, indicating a sense of relief and justice being served.
The jury deliberated for three hours before reaching their decision, which holds Trump accountable for his actions against Carroll. Throughout the trial, Trump vehemently denied the allegations and attacked Carroll’s credibility, accusing her of lying to promote her book.
Carroll initially came forward with her accusations against Trump in 2019, during his presidency.
In her memoir published the same year, she detailed the encounter in which Trump allegedly assaulted her in a dressing room at Bergdorf Goodman, a department store in Manhattan.
Despite Trump’s efforts to discredit her, Carroll pursued legal action, filing a lawsuit for battery and defamation.
During the trial, Carroll provided graphic testimony about the alleged assault, while Trump opted not to testify or attend the proceedings.
The courtroom atmosphere was tense as the jury delivered their verdict and the emotional response from Carroll’s legal team and their young female associates demonstrated the significance of the outcome.
Following the verdict, U.S. District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan emphasized the importance of maintaining decorum in the courtroom.
While Trump’s attorneys appeared largely expressionless, one of them, Joe Tacopina, congratulated Carroll’s legal team and shook her hand.
Young female associates from Carroll’s legal representation expressed their relief by sobbing and embracing their client, who greeted them with a smile and a kiss on the cheek.
Outside the courthouse, reporters bombarded Carroll with questions, but she maintained her silence, opting to smile broadly while wearing sunglasses.
The impact of this ruling extends beyond the courtroom, as prominent figures, including Asa Hutchinson, the former governor of Arkansas and a challenger for the Republican presidential nomination, criticized Trump’s behavior and underscored the seriousness of the verdict.
In response to the verdict, Trump took to his social media platform and expressed his disbelief, claiming that he had no knowledge of E. Jean Carroll and denouncing the decision as a disgrace and part of a “witch hunt.”
However, his refusal to testify or participate in the trial may have impacted the jury’s perception of his innocence.
The ruling highlights the importance of addressing allegations of sexual abuse and emphasizes that no one, regardless of their position, is above the law.
Trump leads a still-forming field of candidates for the Republican nomination, receiving about twice as much support as Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
But Trump carries his own baggage, with a majority saying he should face criminal charges in cases involving efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election, events leading to the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol by a pro-Trump mob and his handling of classified documents.
Republican efforts to restrict abortion access, undermine LGBTQ rights, ban books and alter school history curriculums are driving many Americans away from the GOP but President Joe Biden faces a large number of substantial challenges, according to a Washington Post-ABC News survey.
Biden’s overall approval ratings have slipped to a new low, more Americans than not doubt his mental acuity, and his support against leading Republican challengers is far weaker than at this point four years ago.