Postponement of Trump’s Sex Assault Defamation Trial Due to Juror Illness

The long-awaited sex assault defamation trial involving former President Donald Trump took an unexpected turn on Monday when a juror fell ill. Trump’s defense attorney, Alina Habba, informed Judge Lewis Kaplan that she was feeling unwell and had possible exposure to COVID-19 as one of her parents had tested positive. While Habba tested negative for the virus, the trial had to be postponed to ensure the safety of all parties involved. This unforeseen circumstance threw a wrench in the proceedings as Trump and the plaintiff, E. Jean Carroll, were present in the courtroom, ready for the trial to proceed.

As a result of the juror’s illness, Judge Kaplan decided to reschedule the trial for Tuesday, at the earliest. However, Habba, Trump’s attorney, raised an additional issue. She requested that Trump be called as a witness on Wednesday, citing the New Hampshire primary as a reason for the delay. This presidential primary holds significance for Trump as he is the Republican frontrunner, with only Nikki Haley as a serious contender following Ron DeSantis’ withdrawal from the race. Carroll’s lawyer, Robert Kaplan (no relation to the judge), opposed the defense’s request, urging that the trial be completed as expeditiously as possible.

Judge Kaplan, considering both arguments, emphasized that he was not prepared to make an immediate decision. He acknowledged that unforeseen circumstances might eventually grant the defense’s request or lead to an alternative outcome. However, given the circumstances, it remains uncertain when the trial will resume and proceed accordingly. The postponement created an air of uncertainty surrounding the trial, frustrating both parties involved.

The trial, which commenced last week, centers on determining the amount Trump should pay as compensation to Carroll for defaming her. Carroll had previously accused Trump of raping her in a New York department store back in the mid-1990s. Denying the allegations, Trump defamed Carroll in 2019, during his presidency. In a separate case last year, a different jury found Trump liable for sexually abusing Carroll and defaming her when he once again denied her account. Consequently, Trump was ordered to pay her $5 million in damages, a verdict he is currently appealing.

Judge Kaplan, prior to the current trial, ruled that the defamation aspect had been established in the previous case. Therefore, the primary focus of the ongoing trial is to determine the appropriate amount of damages Trump must pay. Carroll’s legal team seeks a minimum of $10 million in compensation for the harm she has endured as a result of Trump’s defamatory remarks. The verdict reached in this trial will be crucial in providing closure for Carroll and holding Trump accountable for his actions.

The unexpected postponement of the sex assault defamation trial involving former President Donald Trump has added further uncertainty and frustration for both parties. With a juror falling ill and concerns over COVID-19 exposure, the trial had to be rescheduled. Additionally, the defense’s request for Trump to testify at a later date complicated matters further. As the trial resumes, the focus will shift to determining the appropriate amount of damages Trump must pay Carroll for the harm caused. Ultimately, this trial will play a pivotal role in addressing the allegations against Trump and seeking justice for E. Jean Carroll.


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