E. Jean Carroll, wearing dark glasses and a light blue suit, pushes past anti-Trump protesters outside the courthouse with her attorney carrying placards that read: Trump's Deceit Is Beyond a Reasonable Doubt and The Walls Are Closing In on trump.

E. Jean Carroll exits Manhattan Federal Court in New York City Monday as her civil rape and defamation lawsuit against former President Donald Trump enters deliberations. (David “Dee” Delgado/Reuters)

NEW YORK CITY — A jury in a civil trial in lower Manhattan found that former President Donald Trump sexually assaulted and defamed writer E. Jean Carroll in a dressing room at the Bergdorf Goodman department store in the mid-1990s after she went public had gone over the incident in 2019 by denying the incident had happened.

But the jury, composed of six men and three women, also found Trump not guilty of raping Carroll. The mixed decision, which was unanimous, lasted less than three hours and awarded Carroll a total of $5 million in damages.

Carroll is suing Trump under the Adult Survivors Act, a New York state law passed late last year that gave adult victims of sexual assault and abuse one year to bring charges against their alleged abusers, regardless of when the alleged abuse occurred.

Yahoo News was in the courtroom throughout the trial. Here are some key moments that led to Tuesday’s decision.

1. Carroll’s three-day statement

During the first three days of the trial, E. Jean Carroll meticulously and at times vividly described her memories of the alleged attack and fended off attempts by Trump’s attorneys to undermine her credibility.

Carroll, now 79, recalled bumping into Trump at Bergdorf Goodman in the mid-1990s and agreeing to help him shop for a gift for a woman. They engaged in flirtatious banter as they explored different areas of the store, Carroll said. But what started out as a light-hearted, “very funny” encounter quickly turned “absolutely obscure,” according to Carroll, as Trump ushered them into a lingerie department fitting room and closed the door behind him.

Carroll, who choked back tears on occasion, told jurors Trump pushed her against the wall “so hard my head banged,” pulling down her pantyhose and sliding his fingers into her vagina, then his penis.

During cross-examination, Trump’s attorney, Joe Tacopina, tried to poke holes in Carroll’s testimony, focusing on the fact that she couldn’t remember the exact date of the alleged attack and asking why she didn’t seek help during the alleged attack had screamed.

“You can’t spank me for not yelling,” Carroll retorted, arguing that one of the reasons many women don’t report sexual assault is because they’re often asked why they haven’t yelled.

“I’m telling you, he raped me whether I screamed or not,” she explained. “I don’t need an excuse not to scream.”

2. 2 more women testify under oath about alleged assaults by Trump

Among the witnesses who subpoenaed Carroll’s attorneys were two other women who claim Trump similarly attacked them.

The first woman, Jessica Leeds, testified that Trump kissed and fondled her on a flight to New York in 1979 without her consent. The second woman, former People Magazine reporter Natasha Stoynoff, told jurors she was seeing Trump and his wife Melania at their Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida in 2005, when Trump ushered them into an empty room and they forcefully kissed.

Both women described how they were motivated to speak out publicly about their alleged attacks during Trump’s first presidential campaign in 2016, particularly after the release of the now infamous “Access Hollywood” tape, which caught Trump with a hot mic doing how he talked about how he loves to kiss and grope beautiful women without waiting for their consent.

Carroll’s attorneys cited the testimonies of Leeds and Stoynoff, as well as Trump’s own words on the Access Hollywood tape, as evidence of a pattern of behavior by Trump, who has been accused of inappropriate sex behavior by more than 20 women.

3. Trump’s recorded testimony

Trump declined to appear at the trial in person, but jurors nonetheless heard from the former president in excerpts of a taped testimony he submitted to Carroll’s attorneys last fall.

In his testimony, Trump reiterated his claims that he did not know Carroll and that the alleged encounter at Bergdorf “never took place.” He also reiterated his claim that Carroll was “not my type,” arguing that given the rape allegation, he had “the right to be offensive,” before telling Carroll’s attorney, Roberta Kaplan, “You wouldn’t be my choice either.” , if I’m honest. I hope you are not offended.”

However, when Trump presented a photo of himself, his then-wife Ivana, and Carroll and her then-husband in the mid-1990s, he misidentified Carroll as his former wife, Marla Maples, whom he married after divorcing Ivana.

During Monday’s closing arguments, Kaplan reminded the jury of this mix-up, citing it as evidence that Carroll was “just his type.”

In the clips of Trump’s testimony played in court, the ex-president was also asked about his comments on the Access Hollywood tape, in which he is heard saying of beautiful women: “I just start kissing them, it’s like a.” Magnet. just kiss I don’t even wait. And if you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do everything. Grab her by the m***y.”

While Trump reiterated his previous claim that his words were “locker room talk,” he also didn’t deny that they were true.

“Historically, that’s true of stars,” Trump Kaplan said during the testimony. “For the most part, if you look at the last million years, that’s true of the stars — unfortunately or fortunately.”

When asked if he considers himself a star, Trump replied, “I think I can say that, yes.”

4. Trump declined to testify

After hearing testimony from 11 witnesses on the plaintiff’s side, Trump’s attorneys dropped their case last week without calling a single witness, including Trump himself, to testify in his defense.

Judge Lewis Kaplan, who is not related to Carroll’s attorney, even gave Trump an opportunity to change his mind and request a testimony over the weekend, but no such request was made by the Sunday deadline set by the judge.

Throughout the trial, Kaplan repeatedly admonished Trump’s attorneys and sustained a number of objections from the other side during their cross-examination of witnesses, prompting Trump’s team to request a trial, which was denied.

5. Closing argument by Trump’s attorney

Trump’s attorney, Joe Tacopina, used his closing argument Monday to argue that the case against the former president was “outrageous” and motivated by money and politics, and that Carroll’s allegations were “incredible” and an “affront to justice.” ‘ that minimized the experience of ‘real life rape victims’.

Tacopina described Carroll’s account of the alleged encounter with Trump as “completely fabricated” and suggested that it was inspired by a 2012 episode of Law & Order. The episode concerned a rape in a Bergdorf Goodman dressing room, and attorneys noted that Carroll, even under oath, called the television story an “amazing coincidence.”

In counterargument, Carroll’s attorneys said that her testimony about the “Law & Order” episode was taken out of context, arguing that had she actually lied, her story likely would have had fewer gaps and inconsistencies.

While Carroll’s attorneys emphasized the fact that Trump “didn’t even bother to show up in person,” Tacopina argued that Carroll’s claims were too ridiculous for him to call Trump and testify about in court.

“What could I have asked Donald Trump?” Tacopina said. “Where were you on an unknown date 27 or 28 years ago?”


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