U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan has found former President Donald Trump guilty of defaming the writer E. Jean Carroll.
The guilty verdict stems from Trump accusing Carroll of lying about accusations that he raped her in the mid-1990s. Under Wednesday’s ruling, the jury in the trial will only be required to decide the amount of punitive damages Trump owes to Carroll, instead of deciding if he is guilty.
This ruling comes four months after former President Trump was first found guilty of defaming the author. After Trump further denied allegations during a CNN Town Hall meeting, Carroll amended her original suit to include the statements said at the town hall. In these remarks, Trump again denied Carroll’s accusations, and said “this woman, I don’t know her. I never met her. I have no idea who she is.”
Kaplan wrote on Wednesday that due to the “establish[ment] that Mr. Trump’s 2019 statements were made with actual malice” following the May 9 verdict, Trump’s successive remarks were already found to be defamation, which eliminated the need to relitigate the alleged attack.
Former President Trump is currently appealing the May 9 jury verdict. The trial to decide the amount of damages Trump owes to Carroll under this ruling is set for Jan. 15, 2024.