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Jury Finds Trump Liable For Sexual Assault & Defamation, Orders Him to Pay $88.3 Million to E. Jean Caroll

Updated: Jan 30

BREAKING: Trump Loses Defamation Lawsuit, Jury Orders Him to Pay $83.3 million to E. Jean Carroll


Updated: January 30, 2024


A second jury found that Donald Trump maliciously damaged Carroll’s reputation after she went public with her accusations of sexual assault. The seven-man, two-woman anonymous jury ordered Trump pay Caroll $83.3 million in damages in addition to the $5 million sexual assault and defamation verdict from 2022.


This case is different from the first in that it centered on Trump's comments about Caroll in 2019, remarks which the judge already been ruled as defamatory. The trial was focused solely on the damages Carroll should be awarded. Her attorneys sought $10 million for reputational harm.


Republicans Respond to the First Jury’s Verdict

Senate Republicans are expressing their concerns about President Trump’s viability as a 2024 presidential candidate after a civil jury found he had sexually abused writer E. Jean Carroll and ordered him to pay her $5 million in damages.


Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) argued the verdict is further proof that Trump has no business being the face of the Republican party.


“I hope the American people, the jury of the American people, reach the same conclusion as the jury of his peers, which is that Donald Trump should not be our nominee and he certainly shouldn’t be president of the United States,” Romney said. “We have other people who are highly qualified that could lead our party to victory, and someone who’s been found to have committed sexual assault should not be the face of the Republican Party.”

Trump Liable for Sexual Assault and Defamation in Carroll  Case

“I think that there will be some people, surely, who say, ‘You know, I don’t think it’s a good idea to have someone who’s been convicted of sexual assault to be the face for my children and my grandchildren and the world,’” Romney said.


A number of other Senate Republicans questioned Trump’s ability to win a second, non-consecutive term if he is the GOP presidential nominee next year.


“If she were your sister, what would you think?” Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) said. “It kind of speaks for itself. You feel for Miss. Carroll, a woman should not be assaulted, period, end of story, period.”


Other Republican Senators were more vague in their rebuke of Trump’s actions. “I think it’s clearly up to the voters. They’ll figure out what’s important to them,” Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) commented.


Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) said that he still believes the ex-president will be the GOP presidential nominee and added that Trump being found liable for sexual abuse will make the general election “interesting.”


What’s Next for Trump

Because the case was tried in a civil court, Trump will not have to register as a sex offender. But the jury’s decision may affect many American voters’ opinion of him.


Meanwhile, Trump continues to maintain his innocence on Truth Social, despite refusing to take the stand to swear under oath that he is innocent. As a presidential candidate, it’s unlikely that he will admit to any wrongdoing despite evidence to the contrary.


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FAQ

What is the difference between civil and criminal cases?

Civil and criminal cases both consider violations of people's rights and who is at fault. However, they differ in structure, standards of proof, and penalties.


A civil case involves a dispute between two people, or parties, on a certain issue. One party sues the other, and the jury determines liability and the amount of damages. The court may order the party found at fault to pay money to the injured party or to fulfill an obligation.

Criminal law considers a crime an act against society as a whole rather than an individual. Therefore, the government brings legal action against a person for committing a crime. If found guilty, the defendant may have to pay a fine, serve time in jail or prison, or be placed on probation.


Because jail time is such a severe consequence, the standard of proof is stricter in criminal cases—where a crime must be proved "beyond a reasonable doubt," whereas civil cases are proved with "the preponderance of the evidence."


Will Trump Have to register as a sex offender?

No, because he was found “liable” in a civil court instead of a “guilty” in a criminal court, he will not have to register.


Was Trump found guilty of rape?

Because the case was tried in a civil court, the jury was not asked whether or not Trump was guilty or innocent of raping Jean Carroll. Rather, they had to decide whether or not he was liable. The jury ultimately decided that Trump was liable for defamation and sexual assault, but did not go so far as to hold him liable for rape.


Can Trump still run for president in 2024?

The US Constitution only outlines three requirements to be eligible to become president. First, that the person be a natural-born citizen of the country; second, that the person be at least 35 years old; and third, that the person have U.S. residency for at least 14 years. So regardless that the jury found Trump liable for sexual assault and defamation, he can still run and be elected for President. There are no legal obstacles to running for president as a convicted felon or even from behind bars. However, the scandal may affect the American public’s opinion of Trump and dissuade voters from supporting him.


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