A civil jury has found the former president of the United States Donald Trump guilty of sexually abusing author E. Jean Carroll and defaming her by labeling her a liar.
Carroll alleged that the sexual assault took place 27 years ago when she ran into Trump at the upscale department store Bergdorf Goodman. He asked her to help pick out a present for another woman and proceeded to assault her in a dressing room.
“I’m here because Donald Trump raped me, and when I wrote about it, he said it didn’t happen,” Carroll testified to the jury.
“He lied and shattered my reputation, and I’m here to try and get my life back.”
A nine-person jury awarded Carroll $7.4 million AUD in compensatory and punitive damages after three hours of deliberations. But although he was found liable for sexual assault, the jury did not find that Trump raped her.
Moments after the verdict, Trump wrote a statement on his own social media platform, Truth Social, which he made because he was banned from Twitter. Of course, he made the statement in capital letters.
“I HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA WHO THIS WOMAN IS. THIS VERDICT IS A DISGRACE – A CONTINUATION OF THE GREATEST WITCH HUNT OF ALL TIME!” he wrote.
Trump has confirmed that he will be appealing the verdict and has consistently denied Carroll’s claims. He believes that her allegations were created to influence politics and create profits for a book she published in 2019. He also said that Caroll is “not my type”.
It is important to note that as he was tried in a civil court, Trump has not been convicted of a crime and does not face prison time.
Trump has faced multiple accusations of sexual harassment and assault since the 1970s. This is the first time an allegation has made it to court.
The former president is also facing a slew of other investigations and charges.He was charged by a grand jury with 34 felony counts of falsifying business records, which he intends to plead not guilty to. It was the first time a former American president has faced criminal charges. If found guilty, he could face up to 136 years in prison.
He’s also being criminally investigated for mishandling government documents and obscuring a federal investigation of his home in Florida.
Meanwhile, the criminal investigation is looking into the role he played in the January 6 Capitol attack following the House committee releasing an 845-page report that theorised that Trump and some of his associates devised a plan to “overturn the 2020 presidential election”.
He also is under investigation for the Georgia Fulton County election, where he is alleged to have attempted to overturn the state election to create a favourable result.
Trump is also facing a state civil inquiry over his business practices of the Trump Organisation. The New York attorney general, Letitia James, alleges that Trump, along with his children, Donald Jr, Eric, and Ivanka Trump have fraudulently overvalued their assets by billions of dollars.Despite all of the impending charges and investigations, Donald Trump still has plans to run for presidential re-election in 2024. And, as it happens, going to prison won’t have an effect on his potential bid for the top job.
So for now, I hope that this landmark ruling in Carroll’s favour is yet another flashing neon sign that maybe this guy shouldn’t be making huge, life-changing decisions for an entire country.
Help is available.
If you require immediate assistance, please call 000.
If you’d like to speak to someone about sexual violence, please call the 1800 Respect hotline on 1800 737 732 or chat online.
Under 25? You can reach Kids Helpline at 1800 55 1800 or chat online.