Former Pres. Donald Trump of the USA sexually abused former columnist E Jean Carroll in a New York clothing store in the 1990s, a jury found this week in a civil case.
This is the first time that Trump has been held legally responsible for a sexual assault.
The jury also found that Trump was guilty of defamation after he dismissed Carroll’s accusations as “a hoax and a lie” on his social media platform Truth Social.
However, Trump was not found liable for the rape of Carroll in the dressing room of Bergdorf Goodman.
BBC report Trump must now pay $5 million (about R93 million) in damages to Carroll.
The case was heard in the federal court in Manhattan for the past two weeks before the jury reached a decision after less than three hours of deliberations. Trump did not attend the proceedings.
“The world finally knows the truth today,” said Carroll, a former columnist for the magazine Elle, said after the verdict. “This victory is not only for me, but for every woman who suffered because she was not believed.”
Trump’s lawyer has meanwhile indicated that his client is not going to leave the case there and plans to appeal.
“I have absolutely no idea who this woman is,” Trump said in all caps on Truth Social after the ruling.
“This ruling is a shame; a continuation of the greatest witch hunt of all time!” said the former president.
Rhewal used to report Carroll (78) already filed a federal civil defamation suit against Trump in November 2019.
However, an updated lawsuit was filed against the former president in November last year after the Adult Survivors Act came into force in New York. That law allows victims of sexual abuse to sue alleged abusers without regard to statutes of limitations and protects the accusers decades after the alleged assault took place.
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