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Lawyers for E. Jean Carroll can play ‘Access Hollywood’ tape in civil rape trial against Donald Trump

Lawyers for writer E. Jean Carroll can call two women who accused Donald Trump of sexual misconduct as witnesses in his upcoming civil rape trial and play the infamous “Access Hollywood” tape for the jury, a US judge decided Friday. New York City.

Manhattan Federal Court Judge Lewis Kaplan gave the green light to all of Carroll’s applications before the spring trial in a 23-page ruling.

Carroll, who is suing Trump for defamation and sexual assault, accused him of raping her at Bergdorf Goodman on Fifth Avenue in the mid-1990s. Trump denies the allegation.

Kaplan found that the Access Hollywood tape, in which Trump bragged that his fame gave him license to grope women, was relevant to the case.

“(A) the jury could reasonably find, even from the Access Hollywood tape alone, that Mr. Trump admitted on the Access Hollywood tape that he has, in fact, had contact with the genitalia of women in the past without their consent. , or who has tried to do so,” says Kaplan’s decision.

Donald Trump being interviewed by Billy Bush of Access Hollywood in "celebrity trainee" Red carpet event at Trump Tower on January 20, 2015.

The lawyer disagreed with the arguments of Trump’s lawyers that allegations of uncharged sexual misconduct by two other women, Natasha Stoynoff and Jessica Leeds, should not be included in trial testimony.

Leeds and Stoynoff were among the women who came forward with sexual offense allegations against Trump in 2016 when he first ran for president.

Stoynoff claims that Trump pushed her against a wall at Mar-a-Lago during a December 2005 interview, when she was interviewing him for People magazine, and forced her tongue down her throat. She alleges that Trump approached her after a heavily pregnant Melania left the room and that he stopped when a butler entered.

Jessica Leeds (left) and Natasha Stoynoff

Leeds says Trump assaulted her as she sat next to him on a flight to New York in the 1980s, when she was a street vendor for a paper company and was promoted to first class. She claims that he grabbed her breast and put his hand up her skirt.

Trump, who denies both accusations, had asked Judge Kaplan to bar Leeds and Stoynoff from testifying on the grounds that the alleged events were too far apart in time, among other grounds.

President Donald Trump speaks at the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse and Museum in Jupiter, Florida, Tuesday, September 8, 2020.

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But the judge was not convinced.

“Mr. Trump’s attempt to minimize the similarity between his alleged actions with respect to Ms. Leeds and Ms. Stoynoff, on the one hand, and Ms. Carroll, on the other, is not very persuasive. The alleged acts they are much more similar than different in important respects. In each case, the alleged victim claims that Mr. Trump suddenly sexually assaulted her,” Kaplan wrote.

“In the cases of Ms. Carroll and Ms. Stoynoff, he allegedly did so in one location after closing a door behind him, giving him privacy. In all three cases, she allegedly did it without consent. So only Ms Leeds’ case differs in one important detail: the fact that the alleged assault occurred on a plane in circumstances where, despite the fact that both she and Trump were in bulkhead seats, they had little privacy. . ”

Judge Kaplan has not yet decided whether the upcoming trial will cover two lawsuits Carroll filed against Trump. The first includes a defamation claim, alleging that Trump slandered Carroll when he first went public with her rape claim, called her a liar and said she “wasn’t my type.”

A Washington DC Court of Appeals still have to decide whether Carroll should sue the Justice Department and not Trump because he made the comments when he was president. The Biden administration has continued to defend that argument, arguing that it is not Trump he is trying to protect but federal employees from being sued.

Carroll’s second lawsuit, which includes the sexual assault allegation and another defamation lawsuit over additional Trump comments, was the first case filed under New York’s Adult Survivors Law in November. The legislation gave victims of sexual assault one year to sue their alleged abusers, no matter how long ago the incident occurred.

Trump’s attorney, Joe Tacopina, declined to comment on the decision, as did Carroll’s attorney, Roberta Kaplan.

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