The Trump rape case jurors will go to court in secret so Trump can't harass them
The jurors will be kept anonymous in the upcoming rape trial against Donald Trump, a judge ruled.
Judge Lewis Kaplan said he'll keep them secret so Trump and his supporters can't harass them.
E. Jean Carroll, who accuses Trump raped her in the 90s, is suing Trump for defamation and battery.
A federal judge has ruled that the jurors will be kept anonymous in an upcoming defamation and rape trial against Donald Trump so the former president and his supporters can't harass them.
In his ruling, U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan cited Trump's history of targeting courts, judges, public officials, "and even individual jurors in other matters."
Kaplan said that secrecy is necessary because "of the unprecedented circumstances in which this trial will take place, including the extensive pretrial publicity and a very strong risk that jurors will fear harassment, unwanted invasions of their privacy, and retaliation."
He cited the Capitol riot and Trump's recent calls for protest ahead of a looming indictment in New York as evidence that the jurors in this case could be targeted.
"If the jurors' identities were disclosed, there would be a strong likelihood of unwanted media attention to the jurors, influence attempts, and/or of harassment or worse of jurors by supporters of Mr. Trump," Kaplan wrote. "Indeed, Mr. Trump himself has made critical statements on social media regarding the grand jury foreperson in Atlanta, Georgia, and the jury foreperson in the Roger Stone criminal case."
The jurors' names, addresses, and workplaces will be kept secret, and they will be ferried to and from the courthouse from one or more undisclosed locations by U.S. Marshals during the trial, which is set to begin on April 25.
Neither Trump nor his accuser, E. Jean Carroll, objected to the idea of an anonymous jury. But Matthew Leish, a lawyer representing the Daily News and the Associated Press, filed a brief arguing that the public had a right to learn the identities of the jurors who will decide the "landmark case."
But Kaplan said the public interest in the case does not outweigh the jurors' safety.
Leish did not immediately return Insider's calls for comment on Thursday. Trump's attorney, Joe Tacopina, told Insider on Thursday that he thinks an anonymous jury is "appropriate in this case." An attorney for Carroll declined to comment.
E. Jean Carroll, a longtime Elle advice columnist, has accused Trump in the lawsuit of raping her in a changing room at Bergdorf Goodman in the mid-1990s. Carroll is suing under a New York law that went into place late last year, temporarily allowing sexual assault lawsuits to be filed in cases where the statute of limitations previously expired. Carroll is also suing Trump for defamation, for comments he made in October on Truth social, calling her claims a "hoax and a lie."
Trump has denied all of her allegations in the lawsuit.
Carroll also has an earlier defamation lawsuit pending against Trump, but that one has been indefinitely postponed while another court determines whether it can go forward. Trump has tried to get out of that case via a law that protects federal employees from being personally sued for actions on the job. The case concerns comments that Trump made while he was still president.
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