Trump loses latest race to keep key evidence out of rape trial

NEW YORK (AP) — Former President Donald Trump’s effort to keep key evidence out of his civil rape trial next month was rejected Monday by a federal judge.

Judge Lewis A. Kaplan in Manhattan has ruled that key witnesses will be allowed to testify, and misogynistic remarks Trump made about women in 2005, when he apparently didn’t realize he was being taped, can be reproduced for a jury hearing a quarter century. rape allegations made by a former magazine columnist.

A trial in the case filed by E. Jean Carroll is expected to begin on April 25. Carroll and Trump should testify.

Carroll stated in a 2019 memoir that she was raped by Trump in the mid-1990s in a locker room at Bergdorf Goodman, an upscale department store in Manhattan. She said a chance meeting filled with lighthearted banter turned violent when they entered a small room while teasing each other about who would try on a piece of lingerie.

Trump has repeatedly insisted that he never met Carroll at the store and did not know who it was. During an October deposition, he misidentified a decades-old photograph of her as one of his ex-wives.

In the deposition, Trump was dismissive of Carroll’s claims, saying, “Physically he’s not my type.”

Kaplan had previously ruled that Trump’s recorded remarks on an “Access Hollywood” tape could be used in a defamation case Carroll filed against him before she filed a rape complaint against him in November, when she entered A temporary law is in place that allows adult rape victims to sue their attackers, even if the attacks occurred decades ago.

It also ruled that two women who filed sexual abuse complaints in similar circumstances to those alleged by Carroll could testify at trial.

The Access Hollywood tape was revealed just weeks before Trump won the November 2016 presidential election.

In the tape, he said that sometimes when he sees beautiful women: “I start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And she added that: “When you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything,” including grabbing women between the legs.

Afterward, he issued a rare apology, saying the comments were “locker room jokes” caught on a hot microphone.

Lawyers for Trump and Carroll had agreed that the defamation suit, filed in a separate suit, could be tried alongside the rape suit, but the judge on Monday rejected the motion, saying the defamation suit could be tried separately or not at all if the Justice Department successfully replaces Trump as a defendant with the United States.

In a ruling on Monday, Kaplan specifically ruled that he would allow the “Access Hollywood” tape and testimony from two other women who allege Trump sexually assaulted them to be included in next month’s trial, repeating his rulings from the case. for defamation.

“There is no reason, and Mr. Trump has not argued convincingly, for me to govern any differently,” he wrote.

He also said he would allow testimony from two people who worked at the department store at the time of the alleged rape, even though Trump’s lawyers objected, saying they weren’t notified of the testimony in a timely manner and hadn’t had a chance to testify. the witnesses.

The judge said Carroll’s attorneys had notified them of the witnesses in a timely manner.

Roberta Kaplan, Carroll’s attorney, declined to comment. A Trump attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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