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Trump Refuses to Give Testimony in New York Rape & Defamation Trial

Former President Trump has declined the last opportunity to testify in a high-profile civil trial. This legal proceeding revolves around accusations made by an established advice columnist who alleges that Trump sexually assaulted her in a luxury department store's dressing room more than two decades ago.

Trump Refuses to Give Testimony in New York Rape & Defamation Trial

Donald Trump, the former US president and a potential Republican candidate for the 2024 presidential election, has declined the final opportunity to give testimony in a civil trial. The trial involves allegations made by an advice columnist, who claims that Trump raped her in a luxury department store’s dressing room in 1996. US District Judge Lewis A Kaplan had set a deadline of 05:00 pm local time (21:00 GMT) on Sunday for Trump to submit a request to testify. However, no such request was filed.

It was no surprise that Trump declined to testify in the New York City trial, which has been ongoing for two weeks. Throughout the trial, the writer E Jean Carroll has testified for several days, reiterating allegations she first made public in a memoir published in 2019. The jury has also viewed extensive excerpts from a videotaped deposition by Trump in October, during which he strongly denied ever raping Carroll or even knowing her. Carroll is seeking millions of dollars in compensatory and punitive damages.

Trump’s Legal Team Rests Case Without Calling Witnesses or Seeking Testimony

As Trump refused to testify in the trial, closing arguments were scheduled for Monday, with the jury expected to begin deliberations on Tuesday. Following the plaintiffs resting their case on Thursday, Trump’s lawyer Joe Tacopina chose not to call any witnesses and immediately rested the defense case. He did not ask for an extension of time to allow Trump to reconsider testifying. Tacopina refused to comment to the Associated Press news agency after the deadline expired on Sunday.

Last Thursday, Judge Kaplan allowed Trump additional time to reconsider and make a request to testify, although he did not guarantee that he would grant such a bid to reopen the defense case. This was after Kaplan became aware of reports that Trump had told journalists during a visit to his golf course in Doonbeg, Ireland, that he would “probably attend” the trial. Trump also criticized Kaplan, whom he referred to as an “extremely hostile” and “rough judge” appointed by Bill Clinton, stating that the judge “doesn’t like me very much.”

During her testimony on the witness stand, 79-year-old E Jean Carroll claimed that 76-year-old Donald Trump raped her in 1996 when they met at the Bergdorf Goodman entrance, a department store in midtown Manhattan. According to Carroll, the encounter started as a playful and flirtatious outing, with Trump convincing her to help him to choose a gift for another woman. However, she alleged that they eventually ended up in the store’s lingerie section, which was deserted then. There, they playfully urged each other to try on a see-through bodysuit.

Trump Opts Out of Testifying in NY Rape & Defamation Case
Trump Opts Out of Testifying in NY Rape & Defamation Case
Source: Web

Conflicting Accounts of Alleged Rape at Bergdorf Goodman

According to Carroll’s testimony, she and Trump continued to laugh and joke around as they entered a dressing room. Still, things turned dark when Trump suddenly became violent, slamming her against a wall and forcibly removing her tights before raping her. Carroll said she kneed Trump in the groin and fled the store after the assault. However, in his deposition, Trump denied the accusations, calling them a “false, disgusting lie” fabricated by a nut job trying to increase sales of her book. He also reiterated previous statements that Carroll was not his type, stating unequivocally, “She’s not my type, and that’s 100 percent true.”

In addition to denying E Jean Carroll’s allegations of rape, Trump has faced criticism for his controversial comments about sexual assault. In a 2005 “Access Hollywood” video, Trump bragged that as a celebrity, he could grab ladies by the genitals without their consent. When confronted about the comments during his presidential campaign, Trump dismissed them as “locker room talk.” Carroll filed a lawsuit against Trump in November, shortly after New York state enacted a law allowing victims of sexual assault to sue even if the attacks occurred years earlier.

In a letter to the judge on Sunday, Roberta Kaplan, the lawyer representing Carroll, expressed her concerns over Trump’s social media posts on April 26, in which he called the allegations against him a “made-up SCAM.” Kaplan also pointed out that Trump had made disparaging remarks about the trial while in Ireland just three days ago. The judge, unrelated to Kaplan, had previously criticized Trump’s comments on Truth Social as “highly inappropriate” and warned that he might be trying to influence the jury.

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