Yesterday, a civil trial jury found that former U.S. President Donald Trump was liable for sexual abuse against E. Jean Carroll, a well-known writer and journalist.
The verdict has been seen as a significant moment in the #MeToo movement and the ongoing fight against sexual harassment and assault.
Carroll first accused Trump of sexually assaulting her in a New York City department store in the mid-1990s. Trump, in turn, denied the allegations, calling Carroll a liar and claiming that he had never met her. Despite this, Carroll filed a defamation lawsuit against Trump in 2019, arguing that his comments had damaged her reputation and caused her significant emotional distress.
The case has been in and out of court for the past few years, with Trump’s legal team arguing that he was immune from the lawsuit as a sitting president. However, in 2020, a federal judge ruled that the case could proceed, paving the way for the eventual verdict.
The trial itself was a high-profile affair, with Carroll testifying in front of the jury about her experience with Trump. She described the alleged assault in detail, explaining how Trump had forcibly kissed her and then proceeded to rape her in the dressing room of the department store.
Trump continued to deny the allegations and called the case a politically motivated attack against him. He did not take the stand during the trial.
After deliberating for less than three hours, the jury found in favour of Carroll, deciding that Trump was liable for sexual abuse. Damages in the amount of $15 million are to be awarded to Carroll. The verdict was met with tears and cheers from Carroll and her supporters, who had been waiting for justice for years.
The verdict has been seen as a significant moment in the fight against sexual harassment and abuse. It is one of the few times that a high-profile figure has been held accountable for sexual misconduct in a court of law.
While many powerful men have faced public scrutiny and consequences for their actions in recent years, few have been subject to legal action and even fewer have been found liable for their behaviour.
The verdict is also notable because of the identity of the defendant. Trump, a former president and one of the most powerful men in the world, has been long accused of sexual misconduct, with numerous women coming forward with allegations against him over the years. However, until now, he has largely been able to avoid any significant consequences for his behaviour.
Now that a jury has now found Trump liable for sexual abuse, this will have significant implications for his legacy and his standing in the public eye. While he remains a polarizing figure with a devoted base of supporters, the verdict could further erode his reputation and credibility, challenging his ability to maintain a public profile.
The verdict teaches all victims of sexual abuse and harassment that the power of their abuser may not be as threatening after all, potentially changing the way sexual abuse allegations are handled in court forever. This is a major step in ending power abuse that has never had any consequences or accountability.
We are unsure of what this will mean for Trump in the long term and for his presidential campaign in 2024, but for now, sexual abuse survivors and advocates can see this as a landmark symbol of hope and justice.
Edited by: Yasmin Hailes
Share This Post On
Leave a comment
You need to login to leave a comment. Log-in