Trump found liable for sexual abuse, to pay Carroll $5 million

A jury has unanimously found Donald Trump liable for sexually abusing writer E. Jean Carroll and awarded her at least $5 million.

Trump found liable for sexual abuse, to pay Carroll $5 million
(AP Photo/John Minchillo)

A jury has unanimously found former President Donald Trump liable for sexually abusing and defaming writer E. Jean Carroll.

It took less than three hours for the six men and three women to deliver the verdict, in which they said Carroll's legal team proved Trump sexually abused her but did not prove he raped her. They also found Trump liable for defamation because of his social media statements that Carroll's claims were both "a hoax and a con job," statements that they found he made with actual malice.

Carroll was awarded $5 million in damages as a result of the verdict.

"We're very happy," said Roberta Kaplan, Carroll's lead attorney, while leaving the courtroom.

After the verdict was read, Trump took to Truth Social to call the verdict a "witch hunt." The verdict could hamper the former president's campaign to return to the White House.

Carroll and her legal team alleged Trump raped her in a department store dressing room in the 1990s, while Trump's attorney Joe Tacopina argued the alleged assault didn't happen and that the allegation was a politically motivated lie.

Carroll's attorneys called a total of 11 witnesses to the stand during the trial, including friends who said she talked about the alleged assault right after it happened and other women who accused Trump of sexual assault, including one who described being groped on an airline flight.

Trump did not testify, with his legal team saying it didn't make sense for him to appear for something they insisted never happened.

Outside the court Tuesday, a couple of demonstrators were spotted, with some holding signs that read "Trump is violent" and "We believe E. Jean Carroll."

Before the verdict was read, U.S. District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan asked for no response or reaction from the courtroom once it was read, and those present  did follow the judge's instructions. Then, before dismissing the courtroom, Kaplan thanked the jury and told them they had the right to be identified or not be identified as members of the jury for this case.

From the beginning, Kaplan was firm in guarding the jury's identities out of precaution for their safety and because of the high-profile, highly politicized nature of the case.

Trump himself said he plans to appeal the verdict, saying he has "absolutely no idea" who Carroll is and that the verdict is a "disgrace" and "a continuation of the greatest political witch hunt in history."

Former advice columnist E. Jean Carroll arrives to Manhattan federal court.
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