Trump loses last bid to keep key evidence out of rape trial
NEW YORK (AP) — Former President Donald Trump’s efforts to keep key evidence out of his civil rape trial next month were thrown out by a federal judge on Monday.
Judge Lewis A. Kaplan in Manhattan has ruled that key witnesses will be allowed to testify and that misogynistic remarks Trump made about women in 2005 while apparently unaware he was being taped may be played for a jury that will hear a quarter-century of rape allegations made by a former magazine columnist.
A trial in the case filed by E. Jean Carroll is scheduled to begin April 25. Carroll and Trump should testify.
Carroll said in a 2019 memoir that she was raped by Trump in the mid-1990s in a dressing room at Bergdorf Goodman, an upscale department store in Manhattan. She said a chance encounter filled with light-hearted banter turned violent when they walked into a small room while teasing each other about who would try on a piece of lingerie.
Trump has repeatedly insisted that he never met Carroll at the store and didn’t know who she was. During a deposition in October, he misidentified a decades-old photo of her as one of his ex-wives.
In the deposition, Trump dismissed Carroll’s claims, saying, “Physically, she’s not my type.”
Kaplan previously ruled that remarks recorded by Trump in an “Access Hollywood” tape could be used in a defamation case Carroll brought against him before she filed a rape complaint against him in November, when a law temporary came into effect allowing adult rape victims to sue. their attackers, even though the attacks took place decades ago.
It also ruled that two women who filed sexual abuse claims in circumstances similar to those alleged by Carroll could testify at trial.
The Access Hollywood tape was revealed just weeks before Trump won the November 2016 presidential election.
In the tape, he says that sometimes when he sees beautiful women, “I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And he added: “When you are a star, they let you do it. You can do anything,” including grabbing women between their legs.
Afterwards, he issued a rare apology, saying the comments were “locker room chatter” caught on a hot mic.
Lawyers for Trump and Carroll had agreed that the defamation suit, filed in a separate lawsuit, could be tried alongside the rape claim, but the judge rejected that proposal on Monday, saying the lawsuit in libel could be tried separately or not at all if the Justice Department successfully replaces Trump as defendant with the United States.
In an order Monday, Kaplan specifically ruled he would allow the inclusion of the “Access Hollywood” tape and the testimony of two other women who say Trump sexually attacked them in next month’s trial, reiterating his rulings in the statement. defamation case.
“There is no reason, and Mr. Trump has made no compelling case, for me to govern any differently,” he wrote.
He also said he would allow testimony from two people who worked at the department store at the time of the alleged rape, even though Trump’s lawyers objected, saying they were not told in a timely manner about the incident. testimony and had not had the opportunity to call the witnesses.
The judge said Carroll’s attorneys notified them of the witnesses in a timely manner.
Roberta Kaplan, an attorney for Carroll, declined to comment. A lawyer for Trump did not immediately respond to a request for comment.