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Tuesday, Apr 16, 2024

E Jean Carroll: Donald Trump appeals against $5m verdict in sex abuse trial

E Jean Carroll: Donald Trump appeals against $5m verdict in sex abuse trial

Former US President Donald Trump has filed a court notice of appeal two days after a civil trial found he sexually abused a woman, E Jean Carroll, in a New York department store.
A New York jury awarded Ms Carroll nearly $5m in damages over her allegation that Mr Trump attacked her in the 1990s.

Jurors found Mr Trump, 76, liable for battery and defamation, but not rape.

Mr Trump denies knowing or ever meeting Ms Carroll, 79.

His appeal comes a day after the former president called his accuser a "wack job" during a CNN town hall event.

"I swear on my children, which I never do. I have no idea who this woman is. This is a fake story," he said.

He accused the civil trial's presiding judge of anti-Trump bias and said that his decision not to testify in person would not have made any difference to the outcome.

The jury's verdict marked the first time Mr Trump, who has been accused of sexual misconduct by more than two dozen women, was found legally responsible for assault.

Ms Carroll, a writer and long-time advice columnist, claimed Mr Trump raped her inside a Bergdorf Goodman dressing room and has defamed her by calling her allegation "a hoax and a lie".

The jury of six men and three women deliberated for less than three hours on Tuesday before reaching their decision.

The standard of proof in civil cases is lower than in criminal cases, meaning that jurors were only required to find that it was more likely than not that Mr Trump assaulted Ms Carroll.

While the jury found Mr Trump liable for sexual battery and defamation of Ms Carroll, they did not find Mr Trump liable of raping her. To do so, the jury would have needed to have been convinced that Mr Trump had engaged in non-consensual sexual intercourse with Ms Carroll.

Mr Trump's lawyer Joe Tacopina told reporters outside the courtroom that it was "a strange verdict".

"They rejected her rape claim and she always claimed this was a rape case, so it's a little perplexing," he said.

He added that, in Mr Trump's hometown of New York, where the former president is now unpopular, "you just can't get a fair trial".

The case will now move to the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

Ms Carroll's lawyer Roberta Kaplan earlier expressed confidence to US media that Mr Trump has "no legitimate arguments for appeal".

"I've rarely felt more confident about an appeal than I do about this one," she said.

Ms Kaplan also told the New York Times that her client was giving "serious consideration" toward filing a new defamation suit against Mr Trump over his latest comments on CNN.

Mr Trump is currently the frontrunner to once again win the Republican nomination for president in 2024, earning more than 50% support in national polls, including several conducted after the New York trial began.
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