UNITED STATES NEWS

Judge urged to reject Trump’s effort to delay rape trial

Apr 12, 2023, 3:25 PM

NEW YORK (AP) — A lawyer for a columnist who says former President Donald Trump raped her over a quarter century ago in a Manhattan department store dressing room urged a New York judge Wednesday to reject his request to delay this month’s civil trial because of publicity about charges in his criminal case.

Attorney Roberta Kaplan said in a letter to the trial judge that it was “somewhat perverse” for Trump to claim the trial must be delayed because of publicity when “so much of the publicity he complains about has been driven by his own incendiary statements.”

A Trump lawyer on Tuesday asked for a one-month delay in the April 25 start of a trial over E. Jean Carroll’s rape claims.

Trump has repeatedly denied he raped Carroll or that he ever encountered her at a department store in 1996. Carroll first made her claims publicly in a 2019 book.

Kaplan accused Trump of using a delay tactic to try to postpone the civil trial resulting from a November lawsuit. A temporary state law that took effect last year allows adult rape victims to sue their abusers, even if attacks happened decades ago.

Judge Lewis A. Kaplan has ordered both sides to notify him by April 20 whether they will be absent during any portion of the trial. Carroll plans to attend the full trial. Trump’s lawyers have not yet said.

Last week, Trump pleaded not guilty to a 34-count indictment alleging that he falsified internal business records at a private company to cover up an effort to illegally influence the 2016 presidential election. The indictment says the former president did this by burying allegations of extramarital affairs through hush money payments to women making claims against him.

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Judge urged to reject Trump’s effort to delay rape trial