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Columnist's Rape Accusation Against Trump Goes To Trial In NYC

Former President Trump is about to stand trial in a civil lawsuit from E. Jean Carroll, a magazine columnist who says he raped her decades ago. arroll, a longtime columnist for Elle magazine, says Trump attacked her in a dressing room of a luxury department store in the 1990s and sexually assaulted her. Trump says the incident “never happened.” On Tuesday, jury selection is scheduled to begin in Manhattan federal court, reports Politico. Though the case is civil, the stakes are high. If Carroll wins, it would be the first time Trump has been held legally responsible for sexual assault, despite dozens of women who have accused him of that crime and other sexual misconduct. The jury could order Trump to pay Carroll many millions of dollars. Carroll is seeking monetary damages but has not specified an amount.

The trial is risky for Carroll, who must convince a jury to believe her accusation against a high-profile defendant for an incident that allegedly occurred nearly 30 years ago and lacked any eyewitnesses. She says that one night in late 1995 or early 1996, she bumped into Trump while leaving Bergdorf Goodman. He recognized her because they had met once before and “had long traveled in the same New York City media circles.” Saying he wanted to buy a present for “a girl,” Trump asked Carroll for advice, and after they discussed ideas, Trump suggested visiting the lingerie department. According to Carroll, Trump “grabbed” her arm, “maneuvered” her to a dressing room and closed the door. There were no attendants or other shoppers nearby. After unzipping his pants, “Trump then pushed his fingers around Carroll’s genitals and forced his penis inside of her,” the lawsuit says. She told two friends, both of whom may testify. Trump has said he had “never met this person in my life” and that she was manufacturing stories about him to sell a book in which she detailed the alleged assault. Trump’s attorneys have suggested that his defense may question the plausibility of Carroll’s claim that there were no customers or staff to witness the incident, focus on the fact she can’t pinpoint the date when the attack occurred and argue that Carroll is politically and financially motivated.

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