Trump on civil trial in New York for alleged defamation and rape

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Trump on civil trial in New York for alleged defamation and rape

Michael M. Santiago Getty Images via Agence France-Presse The former columnist of press E. Jean Carroll arriving at the New York court, Tuesday

Donald Trump was charged in New York civil court on Tuesday with raping a news columnist in the mid-1990s, charges hotly contested by his lawyer, who portrayed the former journalist as a greedy storyteller greedy for money and celebrity.

More than 25 years after the events, nine jurors, six men and three women, selected Tuesday in federal court in Manhattan, will try to shed light on this case, where two diametrically opposed versions.

Witness to the sensitive nature of the trial, which should last five to ten days, Judge Lewis Kaplan guaranteed that the jurors will see their anonymity preserved, to avoid any pressure.

Since 2019, E. Jean Carroll and her lawyers claim that the former president of the United States “groped, groped and raped her” after luring her into the fitting room of a New York department store, Bergdorf Goodman, on a date she can't remember, but which dates back to “the spring of 1996”.

“The moment they got inside [the cabin], everything changed. Suddenly, nothing was funny anymore,” said one of the plaintiff's lawyers, Shawn Crowley, at the opening of the proceedings.

“Two times his height”

“Trump was almost twice his height,” she added.

The lawyer explained that the columnist had been silent for 20 years , lest his reputation be destroyed by a powerful man. But in the wake of the #metoo movement, the one who wrote in the magazine She in the United States had decided to speak in a book in 2019.

Two friends, in whom E. Jean Carroll confided shortly after the events, will come to corroborate his story on the stand, promised Shawn Crowley.

Donald Trump's lawyer, Joe Tacopina, blasted “an affront to justice”.

“She is abusing the system to money, for political reasons and for his status,” he continued, to 79-year-old E. Jean Carroll, who stared at him.

But, aware that the figure of Donald Trump, absent at the opening of the proceedings, and probably throughout the trial, could cause rejection in New York, he was careful to throw to the jurors: “You can hate Donald Trump, c 'is OK. […] But not here, in court.

The jury will have to determine the amount of reparations to be awarded to the writer, if any.

At 76, the former tenant of the White House (2017-2021) dreams of being re-elected in November 2024, but he sees the legal cases piling up.

Early April, a historic fact without precedent for a former US president, he was criminally indicted in New York for 34 accounting and tax frauds related to payments to cover up embarrassing affairs before the 2016 presidential election, including a sexual relationship with porn actress Stormy Daniels which he has always denied.

“Not his genre”

E. Jean Carroll first filed a libel suit against the 2019 President of the United States, because he called her accusations a “complete lie”, adding that she was “not his type”

His lawyers claimed that he was protected, in 2019, by his immunity as head of state.

But in November 2022, a New York State law (“Adult Survivors Act”) came into force allowing victims of sexual assault to resume their civil lawsuit for one year, even if the facts were time-barred.

E. Jean Carroll then filed a new civil complaint for “defamation”, but also “assault” and “assault”. Judge Lewis Kaplan recalled that Donald Trump was not criminally prosecuted for rape, but that the “assault” could be characterized by “unjustified touching without the consent of the person concerned”.

During From testimony during the proceedings, Donald Trump had reaffirmed his line of defense: “I will say this with the greatest respect: first, she is not my type; then it never happened.”

But, in front of a photo showing him with E. Jean Carroll at a reception years before the events, Mr. Trump mistook his accuser for… his former wife, actress Marla Maples, to whom he was married from 1993 to 1999. The Republican billionaire has been accused of sexual assault by other women on several occasions in the past, which he has always denied. /p>