Former President Trump Faces Defamation Trial for Sexual Abuse Claims: Jury to Determine Damages

New York City, NY – A judge has ruled that former President Donald Trump’s lawyers will not be allowed to present legal arguments to a jury regarding a defamation trial. The trial will focus on the damages to be assessed after a jury concluded last year that Trump did not rape a columnist in the 1990s. U.S. District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan made this decision in an order ahead of the trial scheduled for January 16th.

In the original trial, a jury determined that Trump sexually abused columnist E. Jean Carroll but did not find enough evidence to support her claim of rape. Now, the upcoming trial will solely focus on determining defamation damages against Trump. The former president criticized Judge Kaplan, referring to him as a “radical Democrat” during a recent campaign rally in Iowa.

Carroll, now 80 years old, was awarded $5 million in damages in May of last year after the jury found that Trump sexually abused her in 1996 and defamed her in 2022. Trump did not attend the trial, and Carroll testified that their encounter at a luxury department store had started off flirtatious but turned violent when he attacked her in a dressing room. Trump has consistently denied the allegations.

In the upcoming trial, the jury will consider whether damages should be imposed on Trump for his remarks made after last year’s verdict and in 2019, when Carroll went public with her claims. Carroll’s lawyers have requested that the judge prevent Trump’s attorneys from trying to argue that the jury did not believe her rape accusation. They argue that the jury’s conclusion was based on the belief that Trump had forcibly penetrated Carroll without her consent, which may not meet the legal definition of rape in New York state but does in other jurisdictions.

Carroll is seeking $10 million in compensatory damages and a larger amount in unspecified punitive damages. Trump is listed as a witness, and the trial is expected to last approximately one week.

It is worth noting that Trump is also facing criminal charges in four separate indictments, including allegations of attempting to overturn the 2020 presidential election results and involvement in a classified documents case. These charges, along with accusations of arranging a payoff to adult film actress Stormy Daniels, are unrelated to the defamation trial.

In summary, a judge has ruled that Trump’s lawyers cannot present legal arguments in the defamation trial related to columnist E. Jean Carroll’s allegations of sexual abuse. The upcoming trial will solely determine the amount of damages to be imposed on Trump. Carroll is seeking millions in compensatory and punitive damages, while Trump denies all accusations. Meanwhile, the former president faces separate criminal charges in unrelated cases.