Presidential hopeful Donald Trump is a sex offender. A New York jury took less than three hours on Wednesday to reach the historic verdict that he sexually assaulted E Jean Carroll in a department store changing room 27 years ago.
In court, Carroll described the violent attack at the Bergdorf Goodman luxury store. “He immediately shut the door and shoved me up against the wall. He shoved me so hard my head banged. I was extremely confused,” she said.
“I pushed back and he thrust me back against the wall again, banging my head again. He leaned down and pulled down my tights. I was pushing him back. It was quite clear I didn’t want anything else to happen.”
Advice columnist Carroll said the ordeal left her so crushed she was “unable to have a romantic life again”.
The jury awarded some £1.6 million on a count of sexual abuse and almost £2.4 million for defamation, when Trump called Carroll a liar. The jury didn’t find Trump guilty of rape.
Trump was found to have defamed her when he posted online in October 2022 that her accusations were a “complete con job” and “a hoax and a lie”. As a result, Carroll lost her job—a position she’d held for 26 years—and was subjected to a torrent of abuse online.
The Carroll verdict is significant. Despite more than a dozen accusations of sexual misconduct from women, this is the first time such a case against Trump has been put to a jury. It’s a damning verdict for one of the world’s most famous sexists.
Everyone who was infuriated by his bragging of “grabbing women by the pussy” will welcome the jury’s decision. Trump didn’t appear in court to testify or present a defence. He claimed that his presence would cause traffic chaos at the court in the heart of Manhattan.
Yet he’s been blasting Carroll remotely. He wrote on social media that the result was “a continuation of the greatest witch hunt of all time”. And his lawyers have already slammed the case as “bogus” and threatened to appeal.
As the case was a civil one, rather than criminal, Trump doesn’t face a custodial sentence despite the damning verdict.
His legal struggles are far from over. He’s also facing some 34 charges of fraud over hush money payments to Stormy Daniels, and is under investigation into election interference in 2020.
Tuesday’s court ruling should make Trump so toxic that would make any presidential run untenable. But if the Democrats offer no alternative to the status quo of poverty, war and environmental destruction, the poisonous sex offender could win again.
For now, Carroll has the last word. Trump’s reckoning has only come about because of her personal bravery in standing up to a violent abusive millionaire—and one who wields extraordinary power. “This victory is not just for me but for every woman who has suffered because she was not believed,” she said.
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