Jury in Trump's Rape Trial Begins Deliberations

Both sides presented closing arguments Monday
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 9, 2023 2:30 AM CDT
Updated May 9, 2023 6:29 AM CDT
Jury Deliberations in Trump's Rape, Defamation Trial Start Today
E. Jean Carroll arrives to federal court in New York, Monday, May 8, 2023.   (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

A jury in New York City is set to begin deliberations Tuesday in a civil trial over advice columnist E. Jean Carroll's claims that Donald Trump raped her in a luxury Manhattan department store in 1996, the AP reports. US District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan will read instructions on the law to the nine-person jury for about an hour before jurors begin discussing the civil claims of battery and defamation. If they believe Carroll, jurors can award compensatory and punitive damages. Trump, who did not attend the trial, has insisted he never sexually assaulted Carroll or knew her.

Trump's lawyer, Joe Tacopina, told the jury in closing arguments Monday that Carroll's story is too far fetched to be believed. He said she made it up to fuel sales of a 2019 memoir where she first publicly revealed her claims and to disparage Trump for political reasons. Carroll's attorney, Roberta Kaplan, cited excerpts from Trump's October deposition and his notorious comments on a 2005 Access Hollywood video in which he said celebrities can grab women between the legs without asking. She urged jurors to believe her client.

“He didn’t even bother to show up here in person,” Kaplan said, referring to Trump’s absence from court during the two weeks of trial. She said much of what he said in his deposition and in public statements “actually supports our side of the case.” “In a very real sense, Donald Trump is a witness against himself,” she said. “He knows what he did. He knows that he sexually assaulted E. Jean Carroll.” Tacopina told jurors there was no reason to call Trump as a witness when Carroll can't even recall when her encounter with Trump happened.

(More Donald Trump stories.)

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