So, Donald Trump’s Upcoming Sexual Assault Case is not Clear Cut

Update: Within just a few hours of publication, the case moved. The plaintiff is going public this evening. I will not be updating the piece to reflect any of the changes and, presumably, the new information and public reveal of the plaintiff’s identity will make it easier to go after this case. I feel my analysis is vindicated by the fact that when she went public coverage is spiked.

My feed has a steady stream of memes, posts, and updates regarding Donald Trump’s upcoming sexual assault case. And—please hear me out—the case is quite murky. A big part of why it is not getting a lot of coverage, as we’ll see, is that if an outlet has a high standard of proof for publication, then large parts of this case simply cannot be published.

The accusations are actually quite a bit worse than what my headline suggests. According to a source (hang on), this is what happened. It is quite graphic, so if the headline did not tip you off about the content of this piece, this is your last chance to bail:

She lists four alleged instances of sex with Trump, including one when she says she was forced to perform lesbian acts with another underage girl.

Both girls were allegedly told to “place their mouths simultaneously on Trump’s erect penis until he achieved an orgasm.”

“After zipping up his pants, Defendant Trump physically pushed both minors away while angrily berating them for the ‘poor’ quality of their sexual performances,” the lawsuit reads.

In another encounter where Johnson says she was tied on a bed, Trump alleged raped her after refusing to wear a condom. After he finished, she says Trump threw money at her while putting his suit and told her to get an abortion.

This comes from the esteemed pages of gossipextra.com, however the suit is real and the details here are what is actually being alleged. This seems it should be a bigger story.

Well, there are a few things to note here. For starters, this is a civil, not criminal suit. The burden of proof is lower for a civil suit, so starting there suggests that the plaintiff knows her case is flimsy. Also, it has been dismissed once on technicalities, including the fact that she gave the address of a foreclosed house as her residence. Further, no one has located or even identified—let alone interviewed—the plaintiff. She is currently representing herself because reportedly she is having trouble finding a lawyer. (That last bit comes from our “friends” at gossipextra, so, yeah.)

It is important that I take a moment to point out that false accusations are rare. Even if this is one, it would be unusual. And there is no evidence that it is. There are possible explanations of each of these irregularities—for example, sexual assault is notoriously hard to prove, so she may have no choice but to go to civil court first. Donald Trump in turn is famously litigious, so plenty of lawyers might want to steer clear. No imagination is required to think her secrecy is simply a desire to put off the inevitable scrutiny of every detail of her life. I hesitated even publishing this piece simply because it is difficult to point out a sexual assault case is flawed without encouraging rape apologia.

But keep in mind that the press has virtually nothing to go on here. Just as it would be unscrupulous to dismiss the plaintiff’s claims out of hand, the irregularities and secrecy of the plaintiff make fair reporting on Donald Trump nearly impossible.

But, perhaps most importantly, there is not yet an upcoming trial. There is status conference for December, where the judge receives preliminary information at this time to decide if the case can even proceed to trial. With this many irregularities, you can bet Trump’s lawyers are going to move for dismissal and you can bet the motion has a fair shot. If something is provided by the plaintiff that day that the press does not have access to, you will see this blow up. And rightfully!

In the meantime, I’m sorry, there is not much to this case to be reported right now.

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