Donald Trump has been found guilty by a civil court jury of sexually assaulting author E Jean Carroll at an upscale Manhattan department store.
Carroll, 79, is one of more than 24 women who have accused the former president of sexual misconduct and the first to secure a judgment against him in court.
The jury found that Carroll had failed to substantiate the rape allegation against Trump.
The civil rape and defamation lawsuits have drawn new attention to a decades-long history of former presidents forcing themselves on women in their homes in New York and Florida, at beauty pageants, on airplanes, in restaurants, bars, and during random encounters Have done
Carroll’s attorney Roberta Kaplan said in closing arguments that Trump’s claim that the infamous 2005 Access Hollywood tapes may have sexually assaulted “stars”.
“He’s speaking in his own way, in his own words, MO,” Kaplan said.
But despite the verdict and publicity of the rape trial, Mr. Trump is still set to be the Republican nominee in 2024 and has a good chance of becoming president again. A recent ABC News/Washington Post poll shows him trailing Democratic rival Joe Biden. And history suggests that the decision will do no harm to Mr. Trump as a candidate.
After the Access Hollywood tapes were posted in October 2016, more than a dozen women accused Trump of sexual assault or misconduct.
A Pew Research Center study found that despite the many allegations, 47% of white women voted for Trump, compared to 45% for Hillary Clinton. Overall, 54% of women supported Clinton in 2016 versus 39% for Trump.
Support for Trump increased among women in the 2020 presidential election. He got 44% compared to Joe Biden’s 55%.
Mr. Trump has vehemently denied the allegations, claiming they are “fraudulent” or politically motivated, often using derogatory language to claim that the accusers “are not his type.”
In video testimony about Carroll’s allegations, Trump said, “She’s accusing me of raping a woman who has no idea who she is.”
“It came out of nowhere. She’s accusing me of rape. Raping her is the worst thing you can do, the worst accusation. And I know that’s not true. You’re also a political activist. You are a disgrace but she is accusing me and you too of rape and this never happened.
Here we examine the claims of at least 26 women who have accused Mr Trump of sexual harassment or assault.
E Jean Carroll
Carroll testified in a Manhattan civil trial that she met Trump at the entrance of a turnstile when leaving Bergdorf Goodman on Fifth Avenue in the spring of 1996.
He told her he wanted to find a gift for a female acquaintance, and she decided to help, thinking it would be fun to tell her friends.
The two took the escalator up to the deserted sixth floor and joked about who should try on underwear. Mr. Trump grabbed her by the arm, took her to the locker room, pushed her against a wall and raped her, Carroll testified.
“It was very painful,” Carroll told the jury. “He put his hand inside mine and bent his fingers. I can still feel it sitting here today.”
She confided in two of her friends at the time, Lisa Bernbach and Carol Martin, and first disclosed the rape allegation in an excerpt from a book published in New York magazine in 2019.
The then-president angrily denied the allegations in White House press statements, social media posts and interviews.
Mr Carroll sued Mr Trump for defamation and added battery charges under a recently adopted New York law. Despite the statute of limitations, this law allows survivors of sexual abuse to sue alleged attackers.
Trump called the allegations a “hoax” that Carroll fabricated to boost sales of his 2019 memoir.
The jury found that Carroll did not prove her rape claim by evidence, but proved sexual assault, and ordered Trump to pay damages.
Jessica Leeds appeared as a witness in the civil lawsuit for Carroll and described how Trump sexually assaulted her on an airplane in the late 1970s.
The retired 81-year-old businessman recalled being moved from an economy cabin to an aisle seat in first class on a flight to New York’s LaGuardia Airport circa 1979.
Mr Trump introduced himself and they struck up a conversation before eating, she told the jury.
Suddenly, Mr Trump began groping and kissing her, she said
“There was no conversation. It happened all of a sudden. It was like an argument. He tried to kiss me, he tried to pull me away.”