Jurors begin deliberating in Donald Trump civil trial in New York after rape claim
Jurors have begun deliberating in the civil lawsuit brought by writer E Jean Carroll who alleges that Donald Trump raped her in a department store in Manhattan in the 1990s.
The jury of six men and three women began discussing the battery and defamation lawsuit on Tuesday.
They are tasked with deciding whether Mr Trump raped, sexually abused or forcibly touched Ms Carroll - any one of which would satisfy her claim of battery.
They will separately be asked if the former US president defamed Ms Carroll and are required to reach a unanimous verdict.
During the seven-day civil trial in New York, Ms Carroll, 79, claimed that Mr Trump raped her in a dressing room at a department store in Manhattan in the 1990s and then ruined her reputation by denying it happened.
Ms Carroll is seeking unspecified monetary damages.
If they believe Ms Carroll, jurors can award compensatory and punitive damages.
The former US president, who did not attend the trial, has insisted he never sexually assaulted Ms Carroll or even knew her.
Ms Carroll's defamation claim concerns an October 2022 post on Truth Social in which he called her allegations a "complete con job" and "a hoax and a lie."
US District Judge Lewis A Kaplan told jurors that the first question on the verdict form will be to decide whether they think there is more than a 50% chance that Mr Trump raped Ms Carroll inside a store's dressing room.
If they answer yes, they will then decide whether compensatory and punitive damages should be awarded.
If they answer no on the rape question, they can then decide if Mr Trump subjected her to lesser forms of assault involving sexual contact without her consent or forcible touching to degrade her or gratify his sexual desire.
If they answer yes on either of those questions, they will decide if damages are appropriate.
On Tuesday, Mr Trump posted a message on his Truth Social platform, claiming that "despite being a current political
candidate and leading all others in both parties," he was not "allowed to speak or defend himself" against what he called a false accusation.
"I will therefore not speak until after the trial, but will appeal the Unconstitutional silencing of me, as a candidate, no matter the outcome!".
Mr Trump waived his right to testify at trial and opted not to present a defence.
In closing remarks on Monday, Ms Carroll's lawyer Roberta Kaplan, who is not related to the judge, said Mr Trump "didn't even bother to show up here in person."
She added: "In a very real sense, Donald Trump is a witness against himself."
"He knows what he did. He knows that he sexually assaulted E. Jean Carroll."
Mr Trump's lawyer insists Ms Carroll has "abused the system" for "money, status and political reasons" and said her inability to recall the date of the alleged incident made it impossible for Mr Trump to defend himself.
During the trial, jurors were shown a deposition of Mr Trump confusing Ms Carroll for his ex-wife Marla Maples in a photograph - which Ms Carroll's lawyers say undermines the former president's argument that she was not his type.
Mr Trump has said he could not have raped Ms Carroll, because "she's not my type" and called the case politically motivated.