U.S. Judge Lewis A. Kaplan states that it is possible to declare that former President Donald J. Trump "raped" E. Jean Carroll. This is despite the fact that the jury specifically found that Trump had not done so.
This despite a jury in Donald J. Trump's most recent civil trial in New York specifically declining to determine that he had done so, as Breitbart News reported.
The conclusion reached by the judge was published by Aaron Blake of the Washington Post, who described it favorably as a "clarification":
According to [Kaplan], the actions that the jury determined Trump committed were in fact rape in the traditional sense.
The ruling by Judge Lewis A. Kaplan occurred at a time when Trump's attorneys were attempting to have the case retried and were arguing that the jury's finding against Trump in the civil action of $5 million was excessive.
Trump's attorneys have requested that the case be retried. They say that this is due to the fact that sexual abuse might consist of something as insignificant as "groping" a victim's breasts.
“The finding that Ms. Carroll failed to prove that she was ‘raped’ within the meaning of the New York Penal Law does not mean that she failed to prove that Mr. Trump ‘raped’ her as many people commonly understand the word ‘rape,’ ” Kaplan wrote.
“This was a rape claim, this was a rape case all along, and the jury rejected that — made other findings,” Mr. Trump's lawyer, Joe Tacopina, said outside the courthouse.
The jury came to the conclusion that Donald Trump had not sexually assaulted Carroll, but they did find him guilty of sexual abuse and battery based on Carroll's accusations about an incident that took place in a dressing room of a department store, even though Carroll could not recall the year.
Kaplan, who was appointed to his position by Bill Clinton, made numerous contentious decisions throughout the trial.
One of these decisions was to allow the evidence against Trump to include the Access Hollywood leak that occurred during the 2016 election. Trump is appealing both the verdict and the $5 million in damages.
A judge has now said unequivocally that this distinction is essentially a legal distinction without a difference in the real world. According to him, what the jury judged Trump to have done was in fact rape in the traditional sense of the word.
In addition, Judge Kaplan has given Carroll permission to seek further damages for claimed defamation committed by Trump, who had questioned Carroll's assertions while participating in a town hall event hosted by CNN.
The trial was scheduled to begin in January 2024, which was directly before the Republican primary.