NEW YORK (AP) — A lawyer from donald trump is seeking a month’s delay in trial regarding a columnist’s claims that Trump raped her in a department store dressing room in the 1990s, alleging that her client’s right to a fair trial depends on a “cooling off” period after the indictment and arraignment of former president.
The trial was set for April 25. In a letter Tuesday to Judge Lewis A. Kaplan, attorney Joseph Tacopina cited “the recent spate of damaging media coverage” surrounding Trump’s arrest and court appearance in arguing for a delay. The former president was indicted March 30 on 34 felony counts related to allegations that he paid money to silence adult film star Stormy Daniels.
The civil case before Kaplan was brought against Trump in November by E.Jean Carrolla columnist who says the wealthy real estate developer raped her in early 1996 after a chance meeting at the Bergdorf Goodman department store.
Trump has repeatedly and emphatically denied the accusation. A jury will be asked to decide whether the rape occurred and whether Trump defamed Carroll with his comments.
A temporary state law that went into effect last year allows adult rape victims to sue their abusers, even if the attacks occurred decades ago.
Tacopina’s letter requesting a delay in trial for Carroll’s civil suit followed Kaplan’s order on Monday ordering the parties in the case to notify him by April 20 if they will be present during the trial in Manhattan federal court. Carroll’s attorney has said he will attend; Trump’s attorney has not responded to requests for comment on Kaplan’s order.
Carroll’s attorney, Roberta Kaplan, said a response to the delay request will be submitted in a letter to the judge. The lawyer and the judge are not related.