There is no silver lining in being found liable for sexual abuse

Michael Arceneaux
6 min readMay 10, 2023

There is no positive way to spin the verdict in E. Jean Carroll’s civil suit against Donald Trump, but some have tried.

Photo: @NYDailyNews/Twitter

If anyone was to try to find the bright side in someone being found liable for sexual abuse, it would be an attorney for Donald Trump.

On Tuesday, a New York jury in a civil trial found the former president liable for sexually abusing writer E. Jean Carroll in a Manhattan department store in the 1990s.

Carroll first publicly accused Trump of rape in 2019. Trump vehemently denied the allegations during and after his presidency. Just last year, he dismissed Carroll’s claims as “Hoax and a lie.” Carroll then sued him for battery and defamation.

The jury, which had to be by unanimous consent, sided with her in those respective claims, but did not find Trump liable for the alleged rape.

For that, Trump’s lawyer, Joe Tacopina, told reporters after the verdict was announced, “We’re in one sense gratified.”

“Part of me was obviously very happy that Donald Trump was not branded a rapist,” he continued. “I know some people in [Trump’s] camp are very happy that the rape claim was rejected … I’m not happy that he was found liable for anything.”

Trump did not sound happy at all about the verdict based on what he wrote on Truth Social:

“I HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA WHO THIS WOMAN IS. THIS VERDICT IS A DISGRACE — A CONTINUATION OF THE GREATEST WITCH HUNT OF ALL TIME!”

Separately, he said:

“WHAT ELSE CAN YOU EXPECT FROM A TRUMP HATING, CLINTON APPOINTED JUDGE, WHO WENT OUT OF HIS WAY TO MAKE SURE THAT THE RESULT WAS AS NEGATIVE AS IT COULD POSSIBLY BE, SPEAKING TO, AND IN CONTROL OF, A JURY FROM AN ANTI-TRUMP AREA WHICH IS PROBABLY THE WORST PLACE IN THE U.S. FOR ME TO GET A FAIR ‘TRIAL’”

A spokesman for the Trump 2024 campaign spokesman issued its own statement:

“Make no mistake, this entire bogus case is a political endeavor targeting President Trump because he is now an overwhelming front-runner to be once again elected President of the United States. This case will be appealed, and we will ultimately win.”

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Michael Arceneaux

New York Times bestselling author of “I Can’t Date Jesus” and “I Don’t Want To Die Poor.”