A federal jury in New York City has found former President and current candidate Donald Trump civilly liable for sexual abuse. The jury awarded the Plaintiff, E. Jean Carroll, $5 million dollars.
In reaching their decision, the jury declined to find in favor of the Plaintiff concerning the allegation of rape. They returned the verdict in less than three hours of deliberation concerning the assault that took place in a department store in 1996.
In written instructions, U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan asked jurors to decide whether the “preponderance of the evidence” shows that Trump “raped,” “sexually abused,” or “forcibly touched” Carroll. It chose the second and third options. The jury also found Trump’s behavior willfully or wantonly negligent, reckless, or done with a conscious disregard of the rights of Ms. Carroll.
E. Jean Carroll was able to successfully bring a civil lawsuit against Donald Trump because of New York’s Adult Survivors Act which went into effect last Thanksgiving Day and expires this year on November 23, 2023. As we’ve seen in this case, this new law took a critical step to change the statute of limitations to allow adult survivors the opportunity to legally pursue a civil suit and hold the individuals(s)/institution(s) who caused them harm accountable for their actions.
We applaud Ms. Carroll for her courage in coming forward and pursuing justice. If you or a loved one have been the victim of a rape, sexual assault, or forcible unwanted touching, please contact us as soon as possible so that we may help you determine the best course of action for you.