Trump mistrial request denied in E Jean Carroll rape lawsuit

E Jean Caroll
Writer E Jean Carroll has also sued Donald Trump for defamation after he accused her of lying when she came forward about the alleged assault. (Image: AP/Craig Ruttle)

A New York judge has denied a request from Donald Trump’s legal team for a mistrial in a civil rape and defamation trial.

Writer E Jean Carroll is suing Mr Trump, alleging he raped her in a Manhattan department store in the mid-1990s.

Mr Trump has consistently denied her accusation, calling it “fiction”.

The trial began last week in a federal court in New York City.

The mistrial request was denied moments before Ms Carroll resumed testimony. She spent much of last week giving her account of the alleged assault and later being cross-examined by Mr Trump’s lawyers.

She faced further questioning from Mr Trump’s attorneys on Monday.

During the cross-examination, Mr Trump’s attorney, Joe Tacopina, continued to press Ms Carroll on why she did not report the assault to the police.

She responded that she was a “member of the silent generation”.

“I was born in 1943,” she said. “Women like me were taught and trained to keep our chins up and to not complain.”

Ms Carroll added that she was ashamed of the alleged assault and had believed it to be her fault.

In an 18-page letter filed filed early this week in the New York City federal court, Mr Tacopina accused US District Judge Lewis Kaplan of making “pervasive unfair and prejudicial” rulings in the trial.

He claimed there had been “numerous examples” of “unfair treatment by the Court, most of which has been witnessed by the Jury”.

The filing argued the judge had “shut down” a line of questioning where Ms Carroll was asked why she did not seek to retrieve security camera footage from the store or scream during the alleged assault.

It asked the judge to allow Mr Trump’s lawyers more “latitude to cross-examine [Ms Carroll] and her witnesses”.

Ms Carroll, 79, says the attack occurred at a Bergdorf Goodman store in late 1995 or early 1996.

She says she and Mr Trump bumped into each other while shopping and alleges he later assaulted her in one of the store’s changing rooms.

Mr Trump, who is running in the 2024 presidential election, has repeatedly denied Ms Carroll’s allegations.

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.


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