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E. Jean Carroll’s Sexual Assault Case Against Trump Does Not Have a Good LEGAL Basis

E. Jean Carroll’s Sexual Assault Case Against Trump Does Not Have a Good LEGAL Basis

Unfortunately, sexual assault cases are difficult to prove — to meet a legal standard for conviction without solid evidence – such as witnesses, physical injuries, and biological evidence.  Minimally, the cases are based on what she said/he said.  And that does not generally meet the threshold of “beyond reasonable doubt.”

During the confirmation hearings of Justice Brett Kavanaugh, we heard the mantra that a woman should always be believed … period.  That is feminist nonsense — and contrary to American justice, that requires proof of guilt.

Trump has never been charged with criminal sexual assault.  That is because E. Jean Carroll did not seek justice at the time – or in the 30 years since the alleged event.  She has now filed a civil lawsuit alleging sexual assault – and she wants unspecified monetary damages for claims of harm.

In a civil suit, the threshold is lowered to “the preponderance of evidence.”  The problem is that there is no evidence – and if there was, it is lost in the annals of time.

Carroll’s attorneys are basing the case on the testimony of friends she is said to have told long after the time of the alleged incident.  That is nothing more than they said/she said/he said.  Their biases and credibility are no more or less compelling the Carroll’s.  They are not hard evidence.

The second strategy is to try to establish a “pattern of behavior” by incorporating the testimony of women who had similar experiences with Trump.  The problem is that their experiences were not entirely similar to the allegations put forth by Carroll.

Also, the judge allowed that testimony — in addition to the so-called Hollywood access tape on which Trump was heard bragging about his sex appeal to women.  It was a controversial call by the judge since such extraneous information is normally barred.  This could be the basis for an appeal.

Carroll has – in my judgment – a fatal flaw in her claim.  She cannot recall the time and date – even the month – of the incident.  That seems incredulous.  I see it as more of a strategy to prevent Trump from providing information to establish that he could not have been there on a specific date,

The fact that she never filed a police report works against her story.  And why did she wait 30 years to file a civil suit, and only when Trump is a presidential candidate and not very popular in New York City – from which the jury pool is drawn?

I also find the entire description of rape in a changing room in the lingerie department of a major department store during shopping hours to be odd.  Why did she not yell out?  Surely, she did not fear for her life.  And why – by her own admission – did she willingly enter the changing room with him?  Was there an appearance of consent?

Having said all that, I am not defending Trump against being a boorish sexist.  I am not arguing that he is not capable of bad behavior.  That should come as no surprise.  I am not even concluding that he did not do the things Carroll alleges.  

What I am saying is that it is equally possible that Trump is the victim of a lawsuit motivated by money, political animosity and advantageous professional publicity.

I do not give Carroll or Trump a judgment call based on credibility.  There is just no way to divine the truth.  My view of the case is not founded on the admiration of Trump but despite my lack of admiration.  But when it comes down to nothing more than what she says and what he says, the American legal system bends – or should bend – in favor of the defendant.

I would not be surprised that a majority of a New York jury would decide for Carroll largely on the basis of dislike for Trump.  That is a possibility – an unfortunate one in terms of true justice.

If Trump does not win at this level, you can bet on an appeal.  This could be making news for years to come.

So, there ‘tis.

About The Author

Larry Horist

So,there‘tis… The opinions, perspectives and analyses of Larry Horist Larry Horist is a businessman, conservative writer and political strategist with an extensive background in economics and public policy. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman. He has served as a consultant to the Nixon White House and travelled the country as a spokesman for President Reagan’s economic reforms. He has testified as an expert witness before numerous legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress. Horist has lectured and taught courses at numerous colleges and universities, including Harvard, Northwestern, DePaul universities, Hope College and his alma mater, Knox College. He has been a guest on hundreds of public affairs talk shows, and hosted his own program, “Chicago In Sight,” on WIND radio. Horist was a one-time candidate for mayor of Chicago and served as Executive Director of the City Club of Chicago, where he led a successful two-year campaign to save the historic Chicago Theatre from the wrecking ball. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He is praised by readers for his style, substance and sense of humor. According to one reader, Horist is the “new Charles Krauthammer.” He is actively semi-retired in Boca Raton, Florida where he devotes his time to writing. So, there ‘tis is Horist’s signature sign off.


  1. Frank stetson

    I think you would’ve been probably better off to let this play out in court. Arm chairing potential outcomes are meaningless in this one. IMO.

    Given it’s a preponderance of the evidence situation, and given Trump has said he does this kind of stuff, or at least half of it, I think it’s worthy of a hearing. So did the court. The other witnesses added some flavor and they didn’t overdue it.

    Granted, she does sound a little whack, a doodle, than again, so does he, we’ll see what the jury says. In my life, I’ve seen crazier young gals than her, by far.

    Frankly, based on what we’ve heard in the press, and the fact that Trump is not mounting much of a defense, nor testifying in his own defense, except via deposition, it seems more like a she said, she said. I would think Don would demand the stand. Some tough guy.

    Stupidly, beating her up on the stand, didn’t seem like a great ploy either. Unless it was just for show for the boss.

    Given his willingness to pay off porn stars, I’m also pretty shocked he just didn’t pay it off. Gotta a spate of old guys goin to the mat lately.

    Ivanka’s standing by her man. That must be grim.

    I am not sure what she has the gain by, taking this to court except what she said, and certainly it cannot be fun. He may talk trash on Twitter, but she toed the line. I guess if she wins, she may get some additional book sales, but I can’t imagine the pittance of extra revenue is worth the pain. Not like everyone hasn’t heard the whole story by now and need to buy the book.

    Nonetheless, innocent or guilty, they will still vote for him. Larry too. That’s today’s America.

    • Bubbelove

      Frank Stetson – First, what is Ivanka doing in your conversation? Second, I don’t think that President Trump has had to “rape” anyone. He could have any woman he wanted. And, look at her – does she really fit Trump’s type? Women who are really raped will certainly know the date and time and where it happened. This is a total set-up, and anyone with even a half of brain understands this. Also, your responses are always too long.

  2. LMS

    What an utter circus! First and foremost this woman is a lying whack job and is CLEARLY lying.

    If you even remotely follow Trump you know the following:

    1. Trump LOVES being wealthy and if he was going to impress a woman it wouldn’t be in a store and “doing it” in the store. Oh please! The man would be classier than that! Really, you stupid “C” even I would know how Trump would seduce a woman! LMAO, what an idiot!

    2. You really think this “C” is the type that Trump would go for? IF you even knew the type of women Trump likes he like beautiful women! His wives ALL have been beautiful women including look8ng at ALL women that have been involved with Trump! This “C” would not even get a glance from Trump INCLUDING tthe fact he appreciates strong minded intelligent women! Again, you really think this cow fits the bill? HARDLY!!!

    3. This woman had many many years to file a complaint, go to the police, go to a doctor, or let multiple people know this happened and now we have a desperate idiot trying to capitalize on Trump including looking like a leftist that has been talked into the stupidity!

    4. The courts need to STOP this BS for good! You all are making a—s of yourselves trying to get made up crap to stick on an innocent men! You all have TDS so badly that it’s at a point these freaks need to be put in mental institutions! Sick! Sick! Sick!

  3. Darren

    Any woman who was ” Raped ” would remember the time, The Day, The Hour, even the second it happened.
    For this woman or any woman it could have a potential of being a life changing event.

    This time in that day would have been told to her friends or any one else she told the story to.
    Not to mention what day.

    Any event in a persons life that is worth suing over would be never forgotten.

  4. Frank stetson

    Apparently it does have a good legal basis.

    She was his type.