Jury: Donald Trump Sexually Abused Woman in Department Store

Jury: Donald Trump Sexually Abused Woman in Department Store

A jury ordered the former president to pay $5 million to E. Jean Carroll who, according to the court ruling, was sexually abused by Trump some 30 years ago.

During the trial, Ms. Carroll, a former advice columnist for Elle magazine and who was well-known in Manhattan media circles, testified that the attack followed a chance encounter one evening at a Bergdorf Goodman, a luxury department store on Fifth Avenue.

In a subsequent statement, the survivor said, “I filed this lawsuit against Donald Trump to clear my name and to get my life back. Today, the world finally knows the truth. This victory is not just for me, but for every woman who has suffered because she was not believed.”

Trump, who did not testify or appear at the trial, denied the allegations in a deposition, and his lawyer plans to appeal.

If you or a loved one is a survivor of sexual abuse, The Yost Legal Group is here to listen when you are ready to talk. Our compassionate sexual abuse survivor attorneys are ready to help: 1-800-YOST-LAW.

Civil Versus Criminal Court: Purpose

Occasionally, criminal judges order defendants to pay some restitution to sexual abuse and other survivors, usually as a condition of probation. This restitution is almost always limited to medical bills. It usually does not include lost wages and other economic losses. It never includes emotional distress and other noneconomic losses.

Additionally, most states have crime victim compensation funds. Once again, this compensation is usually limited to medical bills. Furthermore, the application and award processes are long, cumbersome, and not very transparent.

Instead of restitution, a criminal court’s primary purpose is punishing offenders. This punishment is usually confinement in prison, court supervision (like probation or parole), a fine, or some combination of all three.

Criminal court punishments also have collateral effects. For example, sexual abuse and other offenders must usually add their names to sex offender registration lists. The specific rules vary significantly in different states. 

A criminal court makes people safer by removing offenders from society or at least monitoring them closely. But a criminal court does not fully compensate sex abuse survivors.

Only an experienced sexual abuse survivor attorney can file a civil action to do that. This compensation usually includes money for economic losses as well as for noneconomic losses.

Civil Versus Criminal Court: Burden of Proof

Criminal court prosecutors must prove guilt beyond any reasonable doubt. That is one of the highest standards of proof in the law. Informally, this proof usually follows the motive, means, and opportunity analysis. If prosecutors prove a defendant had a clear motive to commit a crime, the ability to commit that offense, and the opportunity to commit it, a guilty verdict usually follows.

Additionally, the Fourth Amendment (searches and seizures), Fifth Amendment (right to remain silent), and other Constitutional procedural defenses apply in criminal court.

These provisions do not apply in civil proceedings. If a sex abuse lawyer presents illegally obtained evidence, that evidence is admissible, but it may have less effect.

Furthermore, the burden of proof in civil court is a preponderance of the evidence (more likely than not). That is one of the lowest burdens of proof in the law. 

A hit-and-run wreck is a good example of the difference. In criminal court, a credible witness must place the defendant behind the wheel at or near the time of the crash. In civil court, a personal injury lawyer must normally only identify the vehicle’s owner. It is more likely than not that the owner was driving the car.

Count on a Thorough Sexual Abuse Survivor Attorney in Maryland

If you or a loved one has survived sexual abuse, you may be entitled to significant compensation.  For a free, confidential consultation with an experienced Maryland sexual abuse survivor lawyer, contact The Yost Legal Group today: 1-800-967-8529.