New York Governor Signs Law Redefining Rape, Praises Trump Accuser

The governor thanked Trump’s accuser for taking on ’those from the highest levels of government.’

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul on Tuesday signed into law a bill that broadens the legal definition of rape, with a special nod to the woman whose rape accusation against former President Donald Trump was rejected by a jury.

The previous definition strictly limited rape to vaginal penetration. The new law removes the penetration requirement from the rape statutes and redefines the crime to include oral and anal sexual conduct contact, which are now referred to as “criminal sexual act.”

“Roughly 90 percent of rape survivors are women, but the problem is rape is very difficult to prosecute. That’s because New York’s archaic laws define rape in very narrow terms,” Ms. Hochul said. “Physical technicalities confuse jurors and humiliate survivors and create a legal gray area that defendants exploit.”

Under the narrower definition, a panel of nine New York jurors last May found that President Trump was only liable for sexual abuse, but not rape—the most serious allegation made by E. Jean Carroll, about whom the former president claimed to have “absolutely no idea.”

Ms. Hochul invoked Ms. Carroll’s lawsuit during Tuesday’s signing ceremony, praising the alleged rape victim for bringing the case against “those from the highest levels of government.”

“Though she couldn’t be with us here today, I want to take a moment to recognize E. Jean Carroll for her courageous efforts to make sure justice was done and to bring a case against the former president whose defamatory and disgusting statements exacerbated a horrific situation,” the Democrat governor said at the signing ceremony.

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Ms. Caroll first sued President Trump in 2019 ahead of the presidential election, alleging that he had raped her in a Manhattan department store sometime in the 1990s and then defamed her by denying the allegation. Her lawsuit was able to progress only because of another bill Ms. Hochul signed into law in 2022—the Adult Survivors Act, which granted alleged victims of sexual assault a special one-year window to file a civil case, regardless of when the alleged assault took place.

In the May 2023 verdict, the jury of six men and three women also ordered President Trump to pay Ms. Carroll $5 million in compensatory and punitive damages. President Trump, who neither testified at trial nor ever appeared for court proceedings, called the verdict a “disgrace.”

“I have absolutely no idea who this woman is,” he wrote on Truth Social in an all-caps post. “This verdict is a disgrace—a continuation of the greatest witch hunt of all time!”

The May decision prompted President Trump’s legal team to file counterclaims against Ms. Carroll, saying that she had defamed him by keep using the word “rape” even after a jury had found him not liable for that crime.

On Jan. 26, in the latest decision in this back-and-forth legal battle, a separate New York jury decided that Trump should pay Ms. Carroll $83.3 million for defamation. The amount includes $7.3 million for damage to the 80-year-old woman’s reputation, $11 million for emotional harm, and $65 million for punitive damages.

Trump Readies Appeal

Shortly after leaving the courthouse, President Trump blasted the verdict and reiterated his intention to appeal on Truth Social.

“Absolutely ridiculous!” he wrote last Friday. “I fully disagree with both verdicts and will be appealing this whole Biden-directed witch hunt focused on me and the Republican party. Our legal system is out of control and being used as a political weapon. They have taken away all First Amendment rights. This is not America!”

On Tuesday, President Trump said he is “in the process” of interviewing several law firms to represent him in his appeal. In the initial trial, he was represented by Alina Habba, a New Jersey-based lawyer who also represented him in the now-ended New York civil trial, accusing him and his company of over-evaluating their properties and assets.

“Any lawyer who takes a Trump case is either ‘crazy,’ or a true American patriot,” he wrote on Truth Social. “I will make my decision soon!”

Original News Source Link – Epoch Times

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