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Trump found liable for sexually abusing E. Jean Carroll but not for rape in civil trial and is ordered to pay $5 million

Carroll sued the former president, accusing him of battery over the alleged rape in the 1990s and of defamation for calling her account a “hoax.”

A New York jury on Tuesday found former President Donald Trump liable for sexually abusing writer E. Jean Carroll in a Manhattan department store in the 1990s, but not liable for her alleged rape

The jury awarded her $5 million in damages for her battery and defamation claims.

Asked on their verdict sheet if Carroll, 79, had proven “by a preponderance of the evidence” that “Mr. Trump raped Ms. Carroll,” the nine-person jury checked the box that said “no.” Asked if Carroll had proven “by a preponderance of the evidence” that “Mr. Trump sexually abused Ms. Carroll,” the jury checked the box that said “yes.” Both allegations were elements of Carroll’s battery claim.

The six men and three women also found Trump had defamed her by calling her claims a “hoax” and “a con job.”

Trump, a 2024 presidential candidate, has consistently denied Carroll’s claims. The jury verdict carries no criminal implications. 

The legal standard for liability in the civil case — the preponderance of the evidence — was not as high as in criminal cases. The civil benchmark is that it’s more likely than not that something occurred, while the standard for convictions in criminal cases is proof of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.