Trump refuses to testify in New York rape case

Adeyemi Adeyemi
Adeyemi Adeyemi

Global Courant 2023-05-08 08:44:17

Former President Donald Trump has turned down his last chance to testify at a civil trial where a longtime advice columnist accused him of raping her in a luxury department store locker room in 1996.

Trump, a 2024 Republican presidential candidate, was given until 5 p.m. local time (9 p.m. GMT) on Sunday by U.S. District Judge Lewis A Kaplan to file a request to testify. Nothing was submitted.

It was no surprise. Trump has not shown up once during the two-week trial in New York City, where writer E Jean Carroll testified for several days and repeated claims she first made publicly in a 2019 memoir. She is seeking damages and damages from in total millions of dollars.

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The jury also reviewed lengthy clips of a videotaped statement in October in which Trump vehemently denied raping Carroll or ever really knowing her.

Without Trump’s testimony, lawyers would make closing arguments on Monday, and deliberations would likely begin on Tuesday.

After the plaintiffs dropped their case Thursday, Trump attorney Joe Tacopina also immediately shut down the defense case without calling any witnesses. He did not ask Trump for extra time to decide whether to testify. Tacopina declined to comment to the Associated Press after the deadline passed Sunday.

On Thursday, Kaplan had given Trump extra time to change his mind and request to testify, though the judge did not promise he would grant such a request to reopen the defense case so Trump could take the stand.

At the time, Kaplan noted that on Thursday he heard about news reports in which Trump told reporters while visiting his golf course in Doonbeg, Ireland, that he would “likely” attend the trial. Trump also criticized Kaplan, a Bill Clinton appointee, as an “extremely hostile” and “crude judge” who “doesn’t like me very much.”

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On the witness stand, 79-year-old Carroll testified that Trump, 76, raped her in early 1996 after they met at the entrance to the Bergdorf Goodman department store in Midtown Manhattan.

She said the meeting began as a fun and flirty outing when Trump persuaded her to help him buy a gift for another woman. She said they ended up in the store’s desolate lingerie section, where they teased each other to try on a see-through bodysuit.

As Carroll recalled, laughter accompanied them to a locker room where Trump turned violent, slamming her against a wall, pulling aside her tights and raping her before kneeling down on him and fleeing the store.

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In his statement, Trump said Carroll made it up. He called it “a false, disgusting lie” delivered by a “crazy job” trying to boost sales of her book.

He also echoed comments he made in statements that she was not his “type”.

“She’s not my type and that’s 100 percent true,” he said.

And he echoed his claims in a 2005 “Access Hollywood” video, in which he bragged that men who are celebrities can grab women by the genitals without asking.

“Historically, that’s true with stars,” he said.

Carroll sued Trump in November, minutes after New York state passed a law allowing adult victims of sexual assault to sue others, even if the attacks had occurred decades earlier.

Carroll’s attorney, Roberta Kaplan, wrote a letter to the judge on Sunday to complain that Trump has still not removed the April 26 posts on his social media network calling Carroll’s allegations “a fabricated SCAM.” And she noted that three days ago in Ireland he repeated disparaging remarks about the trial.

Following the April 26 postings on Truth Social, Judge Kaplan, who is not related to Carroll’s attorney, said Trump’s comments were “highly inappropriate” and expressed concern that Trump was trying to communicate with the jury “about things that shouldn’t be talked about”. ”.

Trump refuses to testify in New York rape case

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