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Trump sexual assault allegations could be aired in court next week in civil trial

Donald Trump is already the first former U.S. president to face criminal charges. Jurors are expected to soon decide in an unrelated civil case whether he lied about committing rape.

E. Jean Carroll accuses Trump of rape, and she and 2 other accusers could testify if a trial proceeds

New details revealed in Donald Trump sexual assault allegations

4 years ago

Duration 2:18

Two people have gone public to corroborate E. Jean Carroll's claim that she was raped by Donald Trump in mid-90s. Trump has denied sexually assaulting anyone, including Carroll.

WARNING: This article contains graphic content and may affect those who have experienced​ ​​​sexual violence or know someone affected by it.

Donald Trump, already the first former U.S. president to face criminal charges, is days away from a civil trial in which jurors would decide whether he lied about committing rape.

A trial is scheduled to begin on April 25 in one of E. Jean Carroll's two lawsuits against Trump over his denials that he raped her in the mid-1990s.

Regardless of the verdict, a trial could expose Trump to an airing of lurid allegations.

Carroll, a former Elle magazine advice columnist, is expected to testify, as are two friends she spoke to soon after the alleged rape: Lisa Birnbach, who wrote The Official Preppy Handbook, and former New York news anchor Carol Martin.

Two women who say Trump sexually assaulted them in separate alleged incidents, Jessica Leeds and Natasha Stoynoff, are also eligible to be called by Carroll's legal team, the judge in the case has ruled. Trump has denied their claims.

As well, jurors will be able to hear the infamous 2005 Access Hollywood tape where Trump made graphic, vulgar comments bragging, in general terms, about committing sexual assault on women.

Alleged incident in mid-'90s

Trump may owe damages if Carroll convinces a Manhattan federal jury it was more likely than not that he defamed her in an October 2022 post on his Truth Social platform.

There, he called Carroll's rape claim a "Hoax and a lie" for promoting her memoir, and maintained that she was "not my type!"

Carroll is also suing for battery under a new state law in New York that gives adults a one-year window to sue their alleged abusers even if legal deadlines to sue, known as statutes of limitations, have long since passed.

LISTEN | Carroll in a 2019 CBC interview on why she waited to publicly accuse Trump:

The Current19:07Why E. Jean Carroll waited almost 25 years to accuse Donald Trump of sexual assault

Last month, advice columnist E. Jean Carroll accused U.S. President Donald Trump of sexually assaulting her in the mid 1990s. While he denies the allegation, she tells us why she waited so long to make it.

Now 79, Carroll has said Trump raped her at the Bergdorf Goodman department store in midtown Manhattan in late 1995 or early 1996.

She said that after Trump asked for help in buying a gift for another woman, he "manoeuvred" her into a dressing room, where he closed the door and penetrated her before she escaped.

'Strong incentive' for Trump to settle: expert

Trump is not required to testify in person. His lawyers have asked that jurors be instructed not to hold it against him if he skips the trial altogether. Carroll plans to appear every day.

Roberta Kaplan, a lawyer for Carroll who is unrelated to the judge, declined to comment. Trump's lawyers were not available for comment.

A woman in a coat brushes her hair back while walking outside a building entrance.

"Trump has a strong incentive to settle the case to avoid the airing of that evidence, whether it is true or not," said Barbara McQuade, a University of Michigan law professor and former U.S. Attorney in Detroit.

"Carroll may decide that she cares more about airing her story publicly than any monetary settlement can buy," McQuade added.

It was not immediately clear whether the combative Trump, 76, would settle with Carroll.

Litany of allegations yet to shake party support

The Carroll case is one of several criminal and civil inquiries confronting Trump.

None has disturbed his status as the Republican frontrunner in the 2024 presidential race, though lurid allegations could provoke uncomfortable questions for the party's politicians and donors.

A man in a suit and tie is shown in closeup.

Voters knew about the Access Hollywood tape when they headed to the polls in the 2016 presidential election.

The public did not learn about hush money payments made to two women who alleged affairs with Trump until well after he was elected president. Trump faces charges in Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg's criminal case over those payments, made to porn performer Stormy Daniels and model Karen McDougal, as well as a former bodyguard.

Inquiries are also taking place in D.C. and in Georgia related to Trump's refusal to accept the results of his 2020 election loss, which involved attempts from him to pressure federal and state officials and unfounded allegations of electoral fraud. It's not clear, however, if Trump will ultimately be the target of any potential charges resulting from those investigations.

Front Burner22:33Fox News settles voting case but ‘Big Lie’ remains

A special counsel is also probing whether Trump or anyone in his employ obstructed efforts by federal agencies to recover classified documents, which included top-secret material, from his Florida estate.

Trump, twice impeached by the House during his presidency, including for inciting an insurrection at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, has denied wrongdoing in all of the cases.

Trial expected to be brief

At the Carroll trial, Trump's legal team could challenge her memory, including her inability to remember the date or even the month of the alleged attack.

In a heated deposition involving Carroll's allegations late last year, Trump reportedly mistook his accuser for his second wife, Marla Maples, in a photo.

The trial may last five to seven days.

Credit belongs to : www.cbc.ca

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