- Trump’s rape trial begins in New York.
- He has said that he will not attend.
- Author E. Jean Carroll is accusing him of rape and defamation.
Former US President Donald Trump’s rape trial began with jury selection on Tuesday. He is being accused of defamation along with the alleged rape of writer E. Jean Carroll.
It is unlikely that Trump will attend the trial. Judge Lewis A. Kaplan has left the decision to attend the proceedings up to Trump (76) and Carroll (79). While Carroll’s lawyers have announced that she plans to attend, the former president’s lawyers wrote to Kaplan last week announcing that he «does not wish to appear at trial.»
Trump doesn’t plan to attend rape and defamation trial
Trump has pointed to «logistical and financial burdens» that his attendance would cause New York as a reason for not appearing at his trial.
However, Trump has announced an appearance Thursday afternoon in New Hampshire, as part of his campaign for the 2024 presidential primary in which the former president is a clear favorite among the Republican candidates.
Trump’s trial may last one to two weeks
The New York Times reports that the trial in the Manhattan Federal District court will not be very long, and could last between one and two weeks.
For the time being, Judge Kaplan has decided that the jury selected will remain anonymous, even for the lawyers for the parties, given the possibility that jurors may suffer harassment or threats from Trump supporters.
Trump faces rape and defamation charges
The trial, which opens twenty days after Trump’s indictment for hush money payments to porn actress Stormy Daniels, is a civil case based on Carroll’s accusation that Trump raped her in the mid-1990s and subsequently defamed her when she spoke publicly about it.
In 2019, E. Jean Carroll alleged that 25 years ago the then-businessman cornered her in a changing room of a New York department store and raped her. At the time she told two friends — who are being called to testify in the case — but did not report the assault to police.
Trump dismisses E. Jean Carroll’s accusations
Trump refuted her accusations saying she’s not his «type» and it was «a joke and a lie». He claimed she was trying to get publicity to promote a book, among other statements that motivated Carroll’s complaint for defamation.
Although the statute of limitations for the rape case had expired by 2019, three years later the state of New York opened a legal window of one year to be able to report old sex crimes, so the jury and the judge will consider the two charges separately and the convictions, if any, will be separated.