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10th May 2023

Trump lashes out after jury finds he sexually abused American author

Jack Peat

The former US president has been ordered to pay $5 million in compensatory and punitive damages

Donald Trump immediately lashed out on his social media channel Truth Social after a US court ruled he sexually abused magazine writer E. Jean Carroll in the 1990s and then defamed her by branding her a liar.

It took just under three hours for a Manhattan jury to return a verdict on a trial that has been rumbling on for years between the former US president and Carroll.

Jurors rejected accusations of rape, finding Trump responsible for a lesser degree of sexual abuse.

They also found he harmed her reputation by writing in an October 2022 post on his Truth Social platform that her claims were a “complete con job,” “a hoax” and “a lie.”

Shortly after the verdict was announced, Trump took to the social media site calling the ruling “a disgrace” and “a continuation of the greatest witch hunt of all time”.

He promised to appeal.

Speculation over how the verdict will impact his hopes to run for the presidency in 2024 has been rife.

Trump has recently been capitalising on the long list of legal action stacked up against him.

“You don’t only have this case, you have other cases right now. Trump has been indicted in business fraud, there’s been talk about use of campaign money and once you see things coming together, the totality, what is this going to mean moving forward?” Dr. Donna Patterson, of Delaware State University, said. 

It’s still early with the election over a year away, but there is widespread consensus that the ruling could be damaging.

Dr. Patterson says the verdict could change the scope of women voters, which will be damaging, although die-hard Republican voters are unlikely to be swayed.

Support for Carroll was quick to flood in on social media.

Victor Shi described the US author as “a hero” following the trial, saying she “never waivered in her pursuit of justice”.

While the New York Post ran this front page:

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