On Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan found evidence demonstrating that Donald Trump raped E. Jean Carroll in the 1990s. His ruling contradicts that of the original trial in 2022 when a jury found that Trump sexually abused Carroll but did not rape her.

The trial took place in May, with Carroll suing the former president on multiple counts; one for raping her in a Bergdorf Goodman dressing room in the 1990s and one for defamation. She claimed that Trump’s denial of the incident damaged her reputation as a columnist.

A jury found Trump guilty of defamation and sexual assault, not rape on technical grounds. He was ordered to pay Carroll $5 million in damages, an amount that Trump has argued was “excessive” in light of the jury’s finding that he did not rape Carroll. Trump’s legal team filed a motion last month to reduce this award.

In his opinion issued on Wednesday, Kaplan wrote that trial evidence demonstrated that Trump “raped” Carroll.

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“The finding that Ms. Carroll failed to prove that she was ‘raped’ within the meaning of the New York Penal Law does not mean that she failed to prove that Mr. Trump ‘raped’ her as many people commonly understand the world ‘rape,'” he said. “Indeed, as the evidence at trial recounted below makes clear, the jury found Mr. Trump in fact did exactly that.”

Kaplan’s ruling rejected Trump’s request to reduce the damages award, arguing that Carroll adequately recounted the incident as she remembered it.

“Ms. Carroll testified about the specific physical memory and excruciating pain of the digital penetration at great length and in greater detail than the penile penetration,” he wrote. “She acknowledged that she could not see exactly what Mr. Trump inserted but testified on the basis of what she felt.”

Carroll recently filed another defamation lawsuit against Trump. The case is expected to go to trial in January.

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