Jurors reached a verdict Tuesday in the lawsuit accusing former President Donald Trump of raping advice columnist E. Jean Carroll in 1996.
The New York City jury found that Trump did not rape Carroll, but found he sexually abused the advice columnist and awarded more than $2 million in damages, according to Reuters. Trump was also ruled to have defamed Carroll and must pay an additional $2.7 million in compensatory damages and $280,000 for punitive damage.
Carroll must pay Trump $20,000 in punitive damages over claims of battery.
Word of the verdict emerged just a few hours after the jury began deliberating in the case, which alleges Trump assaulted Carroll in a luxury Manhattan department store in 1996.
U.S. District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan read instructions on the law to the nine-person jury before the panel began discussing Carroll’s allegations of battery and defamation shortly before noon.
Trump, who did not attend the trial, has insisted he never sexually assaulted Carroll or even knew her.
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 Trump raped Carroll inside a store dressing room. The jury answered no to that question.
But the jury decided that Trump subjected her to lesser forms of assault involving sexual contact without her consent or forcible sexual touching.
On defamation claims stemming from a statement Trump made on social media last October, Kaplan said jurors must be guided by a higher legal standard — clear and convincing evidence. He said they would have to agree it was “highly probable” that Trump’s statement was false and was made maliciously with deliberate intent to injure or out of hatred or ill will with reckless disregard for Carroll’s rights.
The Associated Press contributed to this article