Jury selection to start in Donald Trump’s civil rape trial
Jury selection is set to begin at a federal court in New York in a civil trial over a writer’s claim that Donald Trump raped her nearly three decades ago in a department store changing room.
Former advice columnist E Jean Carroll is expected to testify about a chance meeting with the former president in the mid-1990s that she alleges turned violent.
She has claimed that after running into Mr Trump at Manhattan’s Bergdorf Goodman, he invited her to shop with him for a woman’s lingerie gift before they teased one another to try on a garment.
Ms Carroll has alleged that they ended up alone together in a changing room, where Mr Trump pushed her against a wall and raped her before she fought him off and fled.
Since she first made her accusations in a 2019 memoir, Trump has denied that a rape ever occurred or that he even knew Ms Carroll.
He has labelled her a “nut job” and “mentally sick” and claimed she fabricated the rape claim to boost sales of her book.
The trial is in a federal civil court, meaning that no matter what the outcome is, Mr Trump cannot be sent to prison.
He is also not expected to testify.
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The trial, which comes as Mr Trump is again running for president, still has the potential to be politically damaging for the Republican Party.
The jury is expected to hear a reprisal of stories of sexual misconduct that rocked his 2016 presidential campaign.
He claims the allegations were made up to try to stop him from winning.
The allegations normally would be too old to bring to court. But in November, New York state enacted a law allowing for lawsuits over decades-old sexual abuse claims.
The trial will also include a defamation claim that Ms Carroll brought against Mr Trump over disparaging remarks he made about her in response to the rape allegations.
It comes a month after he pleaded not guilty in an unrelated criminal case surrounding payments made to bury accounts of alleged extramarital sex.