Jury hears closing remarks in Donald Trump civil rape case
In a civil case, the lawyer of the writer who accused Donald Trump in the trial of rape urged the jury to find the former president liable for this alleged assault.
“No one, not even a former president is above the law,” said Ms Carroll’s lawyer, Roberta Kaplan, on Monday.
In New York, in closing remarks to Mr. Trump, the legal team of E Jean Carroll accused her of “making a false statement”.
Ms. Carroll claims that Mr. Trump sexually assaulted her in a New York Department Store in the mid-1990s. He denies this.
After receiving instructions from US District Judge Lewis Kaplan who is not related with lawyer Ms. Kaplan, the nine-member juror is expected to begin deliberations in the civil defamation and rape trial against the former President on Tuesday.
In a Manhattan federal district court, the jury has heard arguments for two weeks.
In closing, Ms. Carroll’s attorneys focused their arguments on past remarks made by Mr. Trump about women.
Ms. Kaplan referred to the controversial remarks made by Mr. Trump in a 2005 Access Hollywood recording, which was released in 2016.
Referencing the comments, she said: “He kissed [women] without consent, he grabbed them, he did not wait.”
She said the remarks were “playbooks” of how he treated Carroll and other females.
Ms. Kaplan also said “self-blame” kept Ms. Carroll from going to the police for decades.
In his closing, Mr. Trump’s lawyer Joe Tacopina focused on seeking to cast doubt on the details of Ms. Carroll’s story, which he at one point called “a work of fiction”.
He questioned why Ms. Carroll could not specify the date the assault occurred, arguing it stripped Mr. Trump of the chance to provide an alibi. It was “not a coincidence” none of the witnesses Ms. Carroll called could provide an exact date, he argued. He also raised questions about the scene of the alleged assault, calling it “unbelievable” it could have occurred in a popular department store without any employees to witness it.
Mr. Tacopina argued the story was “ripped from the pages of Law and Order SVU”, referencing a 2012 episode of the popular crime show in which a woman was raped in the lingerie department of a Bergdorf Goodman store.
Ms. Carroll has acknowledged her alleged assault occurred in the same place as the episode, which was released before she came forward with her allegation in 2019, but she said that was a coincidence. “What’s the likelihood of that?” Mr. Tacopina asked.
The former president did not appear at the trial in person but instead was present in a video of an October deposition played for the court.
“It’s the most ridiculous, disgusting story,” Mr. Trump said in the video. “It’s just made up.”
Ms. Carroll, 79, has accused Mr. Trump, 76, of attacking her in 1995 or 1996, and then defamed her by denying it happened.
Jurors in the trial heard days of graphic testimony. Ms. Carroll told jurors she was left “unable to ever have a romantic life again” after the alleged attack.
A former columnist for Elle magazine, Ms. Carroll was able to bring the civil case against Mr. Trump after New York passed the Adult Survivors Act in 2022.
The act allowed a one-year period for victims to file sexual assault lawsuits in the state over claims that would have normally exceeded statute limitations.