It took a New York City jury three hours to decide that former President Donald Trump was liable for the sexual abuse (but not rape) of E. Jean Carroll sometime in the mid-1990s and subsequently defaming her.
Trump was ordered to pay Carroll $5 million in damages in the case, which was allowed by the city as part of an exception to civil statutes of limitations that would have otherwise been in place there.
The jury made its finding despite the fact that Carroll didn't even know what year the alleged incident with Trump occurred and could not describe the layout of the store at the time, as well as other details of the incident.
Trump consistently denied the allegations and called Carroll a "liar" and the incident a "hoax."
Much was made during the case of a video shown by Access Hollywood before the 2016 election in which Trump said "stars" could get away with grabbing women and kissing them, as well as testimony from other women who said Trump made unwanted advances on them.
Carroll's own testimony in the case was not strong, but it was a liberal New York jury so most of them likely hated Trump anyway.
What kind of reasoning is "he did it to other women and talked about doing it, so he must be guilty"?
Pretty much the exact reasoning someone who didn't like the accused person would use and accept.
Of course, in the civil case, the jury didn't need to prove the allegation beyond a reasonable doubt. Only a "preponderance of evidence" was necessary.
Trump predictably trashed the verdict on Tuesday, and his lawyers said he would appeal the verdict.
"I have absolutely no idea who this woman is," Trump wrote. "This verdict is a disgrace — a continuation of the greatest witch hunt of all time!"
"The Democratic Party’s never-ending witch-hunt of President Trump hit a new low today. In jurisdictions wholly controlled by the Democratic Party our nation’s justice system is now compromised by extremist left-wing politics," a statement from Trump's campaign read. "We have allowed false and totally made-up claims from troubled individuals to interfere with our elections, doing great damage."
"This case will be appealed, and we will ultimately win," the statement continued.
It was not immediately clear whether the verdict would impact Trump's candidacy or status as frontrunner for the GOP nomination.