After deliberating for only an early Tuesday afternoon, the jury in a civil case against Donald Trump alleging sexual assault found the former president liable for damages over the claims, concluding that he — to the extent relevant here — likely committed the attack. They didn’t agree to the allegation of rape but did agree to allegations of sexual abuse, which was enough for upholding the battery claim at issue. Forcible touching would have also sufficed, allowing the imposition of penalties.
As the case, brought by writer E. Jean Carroll, was civil rather than criminal in nature, such means Trump is facing likely financial penalties, not jail-time, and available categories for those penalties included both restitution, which would cover damaging impacts suffered by Carroll, and punitive damages. The case didn’t only cover allegations of sexual assault but also involved claims from Carroll of defamation stemming from comments Trump made antagonizing her on his social media platform Truth Social well after leaving office, and the jury also backed the allegation Trump defamed Carroll in comments he acknowledged at the time he likely shouldn’t have been making, legally speaking.
As the case was civil and didn’t involve criminal charges, jurors only needed to agree on what a “preponderance of the evidence” showed rather than what was proven — or not — beyond any reasonable doubt, at least for certain key points. Early reports put the level of financial penalties the jury decided to impose on Trump at $5 million.
Trump already said on Truth Social that he predictably intended to appeal, falsely claiming on that platform he’d been blocked from testifying in his defense at trial. In fact, he just didn’t. He had ample opportunity to do so, and there was nothing reasonably constituting restrictions on such.