Former Alabama judge Roy Moore appears to be losing his shot at a seat in the U.S. Senate that was previously a near-guaranteed win. This follows numerous accusations of inappropriate behavior, including making sexual advances on a 14-year-old girl.
The allegations arrived during a watershed moment in the country, as victims speak out in droves against powerful and dangerous offenders. But one man apparently slipped through the cracks just before America began this reckoning. Despite facing a flurry of allegations, Donald Trump became president.
Trump has been accused of rape and attempted rape a total of three times, once involving an alleged victim who was a year younger than Moore's accuser.
In 1994, Trump took a 13-year-old girl to a party with Jeffrey Epstein, a billionaire who was a notorious registered sex offender, and raped her that night in what was a "savage sexual attack," according to a lawsuit filed in June 2016 by "Jane Doe." The account was corroborated by a witness in the suit, who claimed to have watched as the child performed various sexual acts on Trump and Epstein even after the two were advised she was a minor.
"Immediately following this rape Defendant Trump threatened me that, were I ever to reveal any of the details of Defendant Trump’s sexual and physical abuse of me, my family and I would be physically harmed if not killed," Jane Doe wrote in the lawsuit, filed in New York.
The lawsuit was dropped in November 2016, just four days before the election, with Jane Doe's attorneys citing "numerous threats" against her.
During a court deposition, Ivana Trump—Donald's first wife and mother to Eric, Donald Jr. and Ivanka—accused the president of raping her in 1989. The private account was described in former Newsweek reporter Harry Hurt III’s 1993 book, Lost Tycoon. It details the alleged "violent assault," in which Trump pulled out fistfuls of his ex-wife’s hair after receiving a painful operation on his scalp.
"He jams his penis inside her for the first time in more than sixteen months," Hurt wrote. "Ivana is terrified.… According to versions she repeats to some of her closest confidants, 'he raped me.'"
Ivana walked back her allegations against Trump after his lawyers insisted she write the following statement at the beginning of her book, according to The New York Times: "During a deposition given by me in connection with my matrimonial case, I stated that my husband had raped me. I referred to this as a 'rape,' but I do not want my words to be interpreted in a literal or criminal sense."
A former Trump business associate, Jill Harth, claimed in a 1997 lawsuit the New York real estate mogul “attempted rape” and groped her without her consent on various occasions. In the suit, Harth described a violent encounter at Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort, in which Trump allegedly threw her against the wall of one of his children’s bedrooms before lifting up her dress.
"It was a shocking thing to have him do this, because he knew I was with George [her partner], he knew they were in the next room," she recalled in an October 2016 interview with The Guardian. "How could he be doing this when I'm there for business?"
In the pre-election interview, Harth maintained her allegations against Trump despite having withdrawn her lawsuit against him after he settled a separate suit her partner filed over a business dispute.
Trump has denied all three of these accusations. He said that Harth’s claims were "meritless" and that accusations of him raping a minor were "categorically false" and "politically motivated." Michael Cohen, his former lawyer and top aide, defended him against Ivana Trump’s claims, saying, "By the very definition, you can't rape your spouse."
The president has also been accused of sexual harassment or assault by at least 16 women.
Trump has continued his denials in office, with White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee repeatedly telling reporters every accusation against him is a flat-out lie. He’s also used a press conference in the White House Rose Garden to lambast his accusers, saying in October, "All I can say is it’s totally fake news."
He added, "It's just fake. It's fake. It's made-up stuff. It's disgraceful what happens, but that happens in the—that happens in the world of politics."
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