Trump found liable for sexual abuse in civil suit, fined $5 million

May 9, 2023 • 2:31 pm

Hot off the presses: the jury in the civil suit by E. Jean Carroll against Donald Trump found him culpable, meaning that the jury decided that it was more likely than not that Trump raped Carroll (the suit was for both battery and defamation) in a Manhattan department store about 30 years ago.

Trump was ordered to pay $5 million.

This isn’t a criminal case, of course, but now he’s been found by a jury of his peers likely to have committed sexual assault. I’m hoping this will be enough to seriously damage his chances of reelection, but remember that he said he could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody, and nothing would happen to him. Let’s hope he was wrong.

34 thoughts on “Trump found liable for sexual abuse in civil suit, fined $5 million

  1. Given his long history of gross and antidemocratic public statements and misdeeds it seems unlikely that this conviction will have a significant effect on his reelection chances. The most recent poll I saw has him beating Biden 44% to 36%. I’m hoping for a criminal conviction and jail time.

    1. Polls in America are rubbish. So many now are biased towards the Right as a new ploy to change public opinion (these biased polls are still aggregated into the whole, maybe this will stop next election) and they don’t know how to poll cell users and young people, America’s largest voting block who do not vote for Republicans. Thus the predicted “Red Wave” that was just a gerrymandered mediocre win in the House, and the loss of a Senate seat.

      This is definitely not good for Trump or the GOP.

  2. Wonder why the jury found him guilty of sexual abuse, but not rape.

    It is difficult for me to put myself in the shoes of someone who voted for him the first time, knowing what we knew then- much less what we know now. Many people are undeterred by any behavior he exhibits. I do hope that this and other cases against him can chomp around the edges of his support in a substantial enough manner.

      1. With a judgment she can seize assets and put liens on property forcing payment (on sale or financing). Depending on law $wording, she may collect the costs and fees of collecting. Appeals stay enforcement only if the judgement provides a bond to cover the judgement. Don’t know NY law so don’t know the specifics in this case.

      1. Yeah, I think he inserted fingers, but she couldn’t be sure. We do know what he likes to grab, though. And remember, male “stars” have been doing it for millions of years, “unfortunately or fortunately,” according to his depo.

    1. “It is difficult for me to put myself in the shoes of someone who voted for [Trump] the first time. . . .”

      Trust me, it’s also difficult to be in the shoes of someone who voted for him the first time. I voted for Trump over Hillary, which I would do again, and I voted for Biden over Trump, which I’m not sure I would do again, especially with Kamala Harris hanging like a Sword of Damocles over a second term. On the other hand, I’d definitely vote for RFK Jr. over Trump and think he could win, though that’s not likely to be an option. I’ll have to wait and see who the Dems wind up with and who Trump chooses as a running mate.

      1. You’d vote for Trump again because you’re worried about a hypothetical Kamala Harris over Trump? After all we know about Trump? Wow. Sorry if Jerry scolds me, but imo, that’s simply delusional. And RFK, really? Doubly delusional.

        1. Name-calling is not a reasoned argument. And it is not persuasive (at least not to those who do not already agree).

  3. The majority of his American support, I suspect, is still strongly for him, even if in politically mixed gatherings the more intelligent among them are quieter or mouth the expected, “sophisticated,” and yet ultimately two-faced reservations; privately, they will still vote for him. For a black-magic aura surrounds Trump: many of these people find something not merely instrumentally attractive about the prospect of a presidency by him but are deeply attracted to the man himself, beyond all reason. They can’t or won’t articulate it — but it’s the very reverse of TDS: Trump love syndrome: he can do no wrong: accounts of his wrong-doing are but evidence of a conspiracy by his enemies or else traceable to his frank late-twentieth-century manners; and hence all is forgivable. Many of these shameful Americans genuinely believe he was divinely sent to save America. It is appalling idiocy, for more idiocy, by idiots.

  4. Obviously there is no credible evidence for this alleged crime but that doesn’t matter.

    1. Were you on the jury? I don’t think so. The jury found it more likely than not that Trump committed assault and defamation. I’m SOOO glad that, not being on the jury, you’re able to judge the evidence!

      1. American citizens have a right to disagree with a jury verdict. I disagree with the O.J. Simpson jury verdict.

        1. Kaleidic didn’t only disagree with the jury verdict. In fact they didn’t say anything about the jury verdict. They claimed that there was obviously no credible evidence. That’s a silly claim and Jerry pointed that out. American citizens have a right to call bullshit when they encounter it.

  5. In sexual assault and rape cases there are essentially two available defenses, depending upon the circumstances of the case. If the case involves strangers, the defense is almost always misidentification. If the case involves acquaintances, the defense is almost always consent.

    In cases that do not fit neatly into either category, there is a third defense known colloquially as “bitches be lyin’.” It essentially involves throwing everything available against the wall to see if anything sticks.

    The defense put on by Trump at the E. Jean Carroll trial was incoherent. In his public statements, and in his discovery deposition testimony in the Carroll case, Trump asserted (despite photographic evidence to the contrary) that he had never met Ms. Carroll, that he did not know who she is, that he never ran into her at Bergdorf’s while shopping, and that there had never been any incident between them in a Bergdorf’s dressing room. (Trump also stated — as he has stated regarding most of the two dozen women who have accused him of sexual assault or harassment — “have you seen her? I don’t think so. Not my type,” which is Trump-speak for the woman making the accusation being too unfuckable for him to want to rape.)

    During the trial, OTOH, Trump’s lead counsel, Joe Tacopina — who seems something of a throwback to the 1950s himself — put on an old-school 1950s-style slut-shaming defense, repeatedly questioning Carroll as to why she didn’t scream or fight back harder during the attack. This is a defense inconsistent with Trump’s claim that he didn’t know Carrol, but consistent instead with a defense that Carroll tacitly consented through her lack of aggressive resistance.

    Given Trump’s incoherent defense, and given Trump’s failure even to attend the trial, much less take the stand in his own defense (despite his statements in Ireland last week that he was leaving that country early to confront his accuser in court), it is entirely unsurprising that the jury (which, per information disclosed during the jury-selection process, included Trump political supporters) returned a verdict of $5 million in monetary damages against him.

    1. So Carroll didn’t fight hard enough against an attack that never occurred. Incoherent is right.

    2. And predictably, Trump called foul, saying something like “I never had the chance to defend myself! Biggest witch hunt in history!” What a putz. Though the sycophants will agree that their lord and savior is infallible. What a world…or rather, what an America.

  6. Now we know that Trump can stand on Fifth Avenue, shoot someone, and get sued for it 30 years later.

    1. But we don’t know when or if he’ll ever pay for it.

      My bet is this will be one that gets settled by the inheritors, wanting to get the will through probate (?) after he’s been fighting it literally to the grave. Otherwise it’ll be Jarndyce & Jarndyce territory.

      1. I’m by no means an expert in New York civil appellate law, but my understanding is that the losing party in a civil trial has to post a bond for 120% of the amount of the judgment in order to pursue an appeal. Otherwise, the prevailing party can begin to execute on the judgment immediately by seizing and restraining the losing party’s assets. See here.

        One way or another, I’m confident Ms. E. Jean Carroll will collect.

        1. The bond must be in the amount of the judgment, including interest at the 9% statutory rate. The 120% figure is from a bonding company, and would include the bond amount plus additional funds to secure their fees.

  7. I’ve not followed this in any serious detail, and am no trump fan, but it does make me somewhat uneasy that this “conviction” (if that’s the right term, given it wasn’t a criminal case) is based on “he/she said” from 30 years ago. Was there any other evidence? Or she just seemed more believable?

    I imagine there also can’t be an unbiased jury when it comes to Trump either, which could of course also work for him.

    I’m a Brit, now living in Aus, so not fully up on your legal system. I also appreciate that the victims of sexual abuse also often will have no concrete evidence.

    Don’t know, tricky one.

    1. this “conviction” (if that’s the right term, given it wasn’t a criminal case)

      It’s not. He’s been found liable but not convicted of a crime.

      As you are probably aware, the bar for proving your case in a civil trial is lower than for a criminal one. I’m less uneasy about this than you are.

  8. The ideal political result is that Trump loses much support among general election voters, but little among Republican primary voters. I’m hopeful.

  9. I don’t like him and I think he did it, but I don’t understand civil suits for criminal cases, and taking substantial amounts of money from someone when the threshold is ‘more likely than not’ seems wrong to me.

    1. Agree. And so, I suspect, would everyone else here if they (or their beloved fathers, husbands, or sons) were the ones charged with such an offense 30 years after the fact.

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