A federal judge ruled Wednesday that former President Donald Trump is liable for making defamatory statements about a writer who accused him in 2019 of raping her decades earlier.
Judge Lewis Kaplan, a Clinton appointee, limited the coming trial to only considering questions about monetary damages, granting E. Jean Carroll’s motion for summary judgement. Kaplan found that a New York jury’s decision regarding a related case in May established Trump’s statements were false and made with actual malice.
A New York jury found Trump liable for sexual abuse, along with defamation over a comment he made in 2022, in a related case in May. Trump was ordered to pay Carroll $5 million in damages.
“The jury’s finding that Mr. Trump’s 2022 statement was false is controlling in this case,” Kaplan wrote. (RELATED: Federal Judge Tosses Trump’s Defamation Suit Against E. Jean Carroll)
Carroll alleges Trump raped her inside a dressing room at Manhattan’s Bergdorf Goodman in either 1995 or 1996.
E. Jean Carroll said in May that she helped New York Democrats change a state law, the Adult Survivors Act into law in 2022, that enabled her to bring the lawsuit. The law provided a “one-year lookback window for survivors of sexual assault” to bring a lawsuit, no matter when the abuse took place.
The trial to determine how much Carroll is owed in damages is scheduled to begin on Jan. 15, 2024, the same day as Iowa’s Republican caucus.
Trump did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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