E. Jean Carroll, who accused former President Donald Trump of rape, arrives at Manhattan Federal Court for the continuation of the civil case, in New York City, May 9, 2023.
A federal judge on Wednesday ruled that Donald Trump is civilly liable for defamatory statements he made about writer E. Jean Carroll in 2019 when she went public with claims he had raped her decades earlier.
Normally, a jury would determine at trial whether a defendant is liable for civil damages claimed by a plaintiff.
But Kaplan found that Carroll was entitled to a partial summary judgment on the question of Trump's liability in the case.
Carroll's lawyers argued, and Kaplan agreed, that the jury's verdict in that case effectively settled the legal question of whether Trump had defamed her in similar comments he made about Carroll in 2019.
"The jury's finding that she did not therefore is binding in this case and precludes Mr. Trump from contesting the falsity of his 2019 statements," Kaplan wrote.
The ruling is the latest in a series of big losses for Trump in lawsuits filed by Carroll. »