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Judge Kaplan used a common, non-legal definition of rape in Trump's sentencing in the case against E. Jean Carroll

The courts also denied the former president a retrial in the defamation and sexual abuse suit against the writer.

Nuevo juicio entre Donald Trump y Jean Carroll

( Cordon Press)

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U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan denied Trump a new trial against E. Jean Carroll in the sexual abuse and defamation case. Trump was convicted of sexual abuse in April and had to pay damages totaling $5 million to the writer.

In his decision, Judge Lewis Kaplan explains why he did not accept Trump's appeal. Trump's lawyers argued that the punishment imposed by the judge was not commensurate with a conviction for sexual abuse. Although the conviction is not for rape, Judge Kaplan qualified the facts as such.

“Common” definition of rape

Carroll's lawsuit claimed that in the 1990s, Donald Trump raped her. The jury chose to convict the former president of sexual abuse, a term more apt to describe the facts according to the New York penal code.

Judge Kaplan considers that Trump’s actions were nevertheless equivalent to what the victim reported, and that there is therefore no error on Carroll's part when she asserted that Trump raped her. Kaplan relies on common parlance, definitions from psychologists' associations, and definitional material from the Department of Justice to imply that, outside of the New York penal code's exact and "narrow" definition, Donald Trump did indeed rape Carroll.

"The conclusion that Ms. Carroll could not prove that she was 'raped' within the meaning of the New York Penal Law does not mean that she could not prove that Mr. Trump 'raped' her as many people commonly understand the word 'rape,'" Kaplan's ruling asserts.

As for the penalty, Judge Kaplan asserts that the $2 million in damages the jury ordered for the sexual abuse charge "did not deviate materially from a reasonable award so as to make it excessive." Trump's lawyers argued that the conviction was too large for sexual abuse, a crime that criminalizes touching through clothing, for example. Kaplan countered that this is not the case with the facts for which the jury convicted Trump, which involved painful penetration and led to a series of emotional consequences for the victim.