Trump's Civil Rape Case Begins: Does It Have Legs?

Trump’s rape accuser, an Atlantic writer who waited 24 whole years to ever make the public accusation — conveniently while Trump was running for president — will finally have her day in civil court to make the case that he raped her in a Department store in 1996.


Via NBC News:

E. Jean Carroll, the writer who says Donald Trump raped her in a New York City department store in the 1990s, sued the former president because “she wants to get her life back,” her attorney said in opening statements Tuesday.

“Donald Trump assaulted her in 1996 and defamed her when she said she made it up,” lawyer Shawn Crowley told jurors.

Carroll, a magazine writer and columnist, alleges the attack took place in a Bergdorf Goodman department store on Fifth Avenue in New York City, when the “playful banter” she’d been engaged with Trump, then a businessman, took a “dark turn.” She alleges in her lawsuit that Trump “seized” her, “forced her up against a dressing room wall, pinned her in place with his shoulder, and raped her.”

I’m in no way an apologist for Donald Trump and, personally, I find him distasteful as an individual and impotent as a leader for reasons I have elaborated on elsewhere.

But this whole rape thing is a total sham. The woman making the claim is entirely unhinged, and it’s amazing that any lawyer thinks they’re going to put this person in front of a jury and enjoy any kind of positive reception.


“The eyes, Chico, they never lie,” as amateur psychologist Scarface observed. In Carrol’s case, they tell the tale of rampant pharmaceutical over-medication. Or so I speculate: I have no evidence aside from the manic, shark-esque emptiness in her irises, but I’ve seen the effects of Adderall abuse up close and personal, and it looks exactly like this.

From a moral perspective, how can a civil trial be allowed to proceed here?

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I understand the technical, doctrinal rationale that criminal proceedings have a standard of proof that requires a judgment of guilt “beyond all reasonable doubt.” But civil proceedings simply rely on a preponderance of evidence — meaning a case need only top a 50% likelihood of culpability to find in favor of a plaintiff.


But it seems wrong, somehow, that an accused individual can make it through a criminal investigation and possibly through the criminal justice system unscathed, only to then be the hook for potentially millions of dollars in civil liability.

Furthermore, how is it possible that 24 years between the alleged offense and the time of filing is not long enough to run out the statute of limitations? This woman had over two decades to seek justice and didn’t do it until the target of her claims became a political opponent of her employer.


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