Former US President Donald Trump was convicted in a civil rape trial by a New York court. Trump will have to compensate journalist E. Jean Carroll, who reported him for rape last year, with 5 million dollars. Trump commented on the ruling by reiterating the conspiracy theory that the many court cases he is involved in were initiated for political reasons. In a press release, Carroll instead wrote that “this victory is not only mine but that of all the women who have suffered because someone did not believe them”.
The judge of the court who tried Trump, Lewis A. Kaplan, explained that according to the jury there was not enough evidence to prove that the rape really took place. However, the same jury found the allegations of sexual abuse, that is, that Trump sexually harassed Carroll, to be well founded. Part of the compensation was also motivated by the fact that in the following years Trump claimed, according to the jury falsely, that Carroll had completely made everything up.
Carroll had denounced Trump last November for facts dating back over 20 years ago: he had done so on the basis of theAdult Survivors Act, a law recently passed by the state of New York to allow victims of sexual assault to sue years after the assault was experienced. The trial initiated against Trump was however of a civil nature, and not a criminal one: for this reason Trump will not have to serve a period of imprisonment in prison, but only compensate Carroll.
At the heart of the trial is an episode that happened between 1995 and 1996, when Carroll would have met Trump in the Bergdorf Goodman department store in New York and he would have raped her. Trump has always denied all accusations, and has often said that Carroll had made everything up to gain visibility.