Donald Trump was accused of rape during a civil trial in New York in the 90s

Former American newspaper columnist E. Jean Carroll arrives in federal court in Manhattan, New York, April 25, 2023, for a civil trial on defamation and rape charges against former US President Donald Trump in the 1990s (AFP/TIMOTHY A . CLEAR)

Donald Trump was charged in New York civil court on Tuesday with sexually assaulting a news columnist in the mid-1990s, charges hotly contested by his attorney painted the former journalist as a greedy storyteller greedy for money and fame.

More than 25 years after the events, nine jurors, six men and three women, will go before a federal court in Manhattan on Tuesday to try to shed light on the case, where two diametrically opposed versions collide.

Witnessing the sensitive nature of the five- to 10-day trial, Judge Louis Kaplan guaranteed that jurors would preserve their anonymity to avoid any pressure.

Since 2019, E. Jean Carroll and her lawyers say the former president of the United States lured her on a date to New York department store Bergdorf Goodman and “grabbed and raped her.” Long memory but this was in “spring of 1996”.

“The moment they were inside (the cabin), everything changed. All of a sudden, nothing was funny anymore,” began Shawn Crowley, one of the plaintiff’s attorneys, at the opening of the hearing.

– “twice its size” –

“Trump is almost twice as big,” he added.

The lawyer explained that the columnist had remained silent for 20 years out of fear of having his reputation destroyed by a powerful man. But in the wake of the #metoo movement, the writer for Elle magazine in the US had decided to speak out in a book in 2019.

E. Shawn Crowley promised that two friends, who believed the Jean Carroll facts after a while, would come to the bar to corroborate his account.

Donald Trump’s lawyer, Joe Tacobina, called it a “contempt of justice.”

“She is abusing the system for money, for political reasons and for her status,” said 79-year-old E, who watched her. He continued before Jean Carroll.

But knowing that the image of Donald Trump, absent at the beginning of the trial, and probably throughout the trial, could cause rejection in New York, he threw to the jurors: “You can hate Donald Trump, c. (…) but not here, in court”.

Former US President Donald Trump in Indianapolis, Indiana, April 14, 2023 (AFP / Alex WROBLEWSKI)

The jury must determine the amount of damages that may be awarded to the author.

At 76, the former tenant of the White House (2017-2021) dreams of re-election in November 2024, but he sees legal cases piling up.

In early April, in the history of the former US president, he was charged with criminal charges in New York, 34 counts of accounting and tax fraud related to payments to cover up embarrassing affairs, including a sexual relationship with a porn actress, before the 2016 presidential election. Stormy Daniels was always in denial.

– “Not his type” –

E. Gene Carroll originally filed a defamation lawsuit against the 2019 President of the United States, calling his allegations “completely false” and saying he was “not his type.”

In 2019, his lawyers said he was protected by his immunity as head of state.

But in November 2022, a New York state law went into effect (the “Adult Survivors Act”) that allows victims of sexual assault to reopen their civil lawsuits for one year, even if the facts are criminally suggestive.

E. Jean Carroll filed a new civil complaint for “defamation” but also for “assault” and “assault.” Judge Louis Kaplan recalled that Donald Trump was not charged with rape, but that “assault” can be characterized by “unreasonable touching without the consent of the person concerned.”

During a testimony during the procedure, Donald Trump reaffirmed his defense: “I will say it with great respect: first of all she is not my type; second, it did not happen”.

But years before the truth came out, at a reception E. In front of a photograph of him appearing with Jean Carroll, Mr. Trump confused his accuser … with his ex-wife, actress Marla Maples, whom he married in 1993. Until 1999. The Republican billionaire has been accused of sexual assault by other women on several occasions in the past, which he has always denied.

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