On Tuesday, a jury determined that Donald Trump was guilty of sexually abusing advice writer E. Jean Carroll in 1996, awarding her $5 million in a decision that might haunt the former president as he runs for re-election.
The decision was delivered in a federal courtroom in New York City on the first day of the jury’s deliberations. Carroll’s allegations of being raped were not believed by the jury, but Trump was found guilty of abusing Carroll sexually.
Before that, the U.S. Before the jury began deliberating Carroll’s claims of violence and defamation, District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan gave the nine-person jury legal instructions. This was shortly before noon.
Trump, who was not present at the trial, has maintained that he neither knew Carroll nor committed any sexual assault on her.
According to Kaplan’s instructions to the jury, the first question on the judgment form asked them to indicate if they believed there was a more than 50% possibility that Trump had violated Carroll in a store changing room.
They would consider whether to award compensatory and punitive damages if they replied in the affirmative.
If they said “no” to the rape question, they might then assess whether Trump had sexual contact with the woman without her permission or forced touching to humiliate her or satiate his sexual urge.
If the response to either of those inquiries is yes, they will determine whether or not damages are necessary.
Regarding defamation charges resulting from a tweet Trump posted in October, Kaplan said that jurors should be held to a higher legal standard, which is clear and persuasive evidence.
He declared they would have to concur that it was “highly probable” that Trump’s claim was untrue, made with the reckless disdain for Carroll’s rights and malicious purpose to cause harm.
In court, Carroll, 79, claimed that she accidentally met Trump at the Bergdorf Goodman shop next to Trump Tower.
She claimed that before Trump started acting violently in a changing room, they were having a jovial conversation in which they made fun of each other for trying on some underwear.