NEW YORK -- An April trial date was set Wednesday by a federal judge for a civil trial arising from a former columnist’s claim that Donald Trump raped her in a department store dressing room in the mid-1990s.
Judge Lewis A. Kaplan scheduled an April 17 trial after he rejected a request by Trump’s lawyers to delay the trial until the end of the year.
Advice columnist E. Jean Carroll said in a book published in 2019 that Trump raped her, causing the then U.S. president to say it never happened. He has repeatedly insisted that Carroll has made up the claim that he had attacked her in a dressing room after they met each other at an upscale Manhattan store by chance and engaged in playful banter.
She initially filed a defamation lawsuit against Trump, but she recently updated it to a rape allegation after the November enactment of a New York State law that temporarily allows sexual assault victims to sue their abusers for crimes that occurred decades ago.
Kaplan has said the updated lawsuit did not require extensive collection of additional evidence for the trial because whether the rape occurred was also central to the merits of the defamation lawsuit.
The Associated Press generally does not name alleged victims of sexual assault in stories unless they agree to tell their stories publicly, as Carroll has done.