Judge dismisses Trump's defamation countersuit against E Jean Carroll

A federal judge has dismissed former President Donald Trump’s defamation lawsuit against E Jean Carroll.

District Judge Lewis Kaplan found that statements made by Carroll were ‘substantially true’ after a jury found Trump liable for sexually abusing her in the 1990s.

In 2019, Carroll accused Trump of sexually assaulting her in a changing room inside a Manhattan department store.

Carroll sued Trump under New York’s Adult Survivor’s Act, which granted victims the opportunity to sue their attackers even after the statute of limitations passed.

In May, a jury found Trump liable for defamation and sexual abuse. However, it found him not liable for rape based on the New York state criminal code’s definition of the term.

In New York penal law, ‘rape’ only refers to forcible penetration with one’s genitals.

The next day after the jury’s decision, Carroll and her attorneys began to give interviews to the media. When a reporter at CNN asked Carroll if Trump raped her, she responded ‘oh yes he did, yes he did.’

Despite losing the case, Trump called Carroll’s claims a ‘hoax’ and a ‘complete con job.’ He immediately filed a countersuit, claiming that Carroll was defaming him because he was not found liable for rape.

Attorneys for the former president also asked Judge Kaplan for a new trial due to the jury’s ‘seriously erroneous result’ and the ‘excessive’ amount awarded in damages. Kaplan rejected the motion in July.

On Monday, Judge Kaplan dismissed Trump’s countersuit as well, finding that Carroll’s statements to the media were ‘substantially true.’

‘The jury’s finding that Mr Trump “sexually abused” Ms Carroll implicitly determined that he forcibly penetrated her digitally – in other words, that Mr Trump did in fact “rape” Ms Carroll as that term commonly is used and understood in contexts outside New York Penal Law,’ Kaplan wrote in his decision.

Attorneys for the former president indicated that they intended to appeal the decision.

‘We strongly disagree with the flawed decision and will be filing an appeal shortly,’ Trump’s lawyer Alina Habba said.

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