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HomeNewsManhattan Judge Rules Trump Cannot Challenge Writer’s Rape Claim at Defamation Trial 

Manhattan Judge Rules Trump Cannot Challenge Writer’s Rape Claim at Defamation Trial 

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Jean Carroll and Donald Trump
Source: VABVOX/X

Former President Donald Trump has suffered yet another blow in his move to wriggle out of a web of court troubles. On Saturday, January 6, 2024, US District Judge Lewis Kaplan blocked his counterclaim against his accuser, E. Jean Carroll. 

The court had previously found Trump liable in a case brought against him by Carroll, a writer. In a 2019 book, Carroll accused the former President of raping her in the changing room of a department store. According to the book, the incident took place sometime in the mid-90s. 

Carroll is just one out of at least 18 women who have accused the former President of varying inappropriate sexual behavior. Mostly, these accusations were from his time as a real estate and entertainment mogul. 

Trump had filed a counterclaim before the jury, which was assessing damages at the writer’s upcoming defamation trial. He based his counterclaim on the decision of another jury, which had earlier found that he only sexually assaulted her. 

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Also Read: Trump’s ‘Presidential Immunity’ Argument Denied by Appeals Court

In May 2023, the jury hearing the rape charge against the former President ordered him to pay Carroll $5 million. The jury held that Trump had penetrated the writer with his fingers in a Bergdorf Goodman department store. Trump denied the allegation. 

Trump was filing a counterclaim for defamation because New York laws do not consider penetration by the fingers as rape. He argued that since New York’s laws only view penile penetration as rape, the writer jad defamed him by claiming that he raped her. 

In his analysis of the previous judgment, Judge Kaplan agreed that the jury “could find that Mr. Trump ‘raped’ Ms. Carroll only if it found that he forcibly penetrated Ms Carroll’s vagina with his penis.”

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Judge Kaplan further said that the only issue that didn’t fall in Carroll’s favor was her inability to prove that Trump raped her “within the narrow technical meaning of that term in the New York penal law.”

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The basis of Trump’s counterclaim was statements made by Carroll to CNN when asked if he raped her. “Oh yes he did, oh yes he did,” she responded. Carroll also admitted to telling a Trump lawyer: “He did it and you know it.”

Trump in his counterclaim, stated that Carroll made the statements “knowing each of them were false or with reckless disregard for their truth or falsity.” 

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Dismissing the counterclaim, Judge Kaplan ruled that Carroll did not defame Trump by saying that he raped her. Judge Kaplan declared that Carroll’s assertions were true if viewed in other contexts outside New York’s laws. 

Also Read: Trump’s Expert Witness Says Real Estate Values Not “Reasonable”

Judge Kaplan also struck out other Trump defenses, including his claim that all his remarks during his time in office were covered by an “absolute presidential immunity.” The Judge also dismissed Trump’s claims that Carroll didn’t qualify for punitive damages. 

Trump’s lawyer, Alina Habba, expressed her dissatisfaction with the ruling, calling it a “flawed decision.” She vowed to appeal the decision. 

On the other end, Carroll’s lawyer, Roberta Kaplan, praised the Judge’s ruling and declared that the trial would be over within a short time. 

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