E. Jean Carroll v. Donald Trump

Readers discuss a claim by the author that she was raped by the former president. Also: Teachers and lifelong learning; Indigenous values and a forest.

E. Jean Carroll v. Donald Trump


To the Editor

Re:'In Vivid Details, Trump Accuser tells her story' (frontpage, April 27)

Donald Trump allegedly sexually assaulted E. Jean Carroll, according to clear evidence. He denies the allegations on social media, but he doesn't appear in court to face cross-examination. Each time he had been impeached, he did the same: lied like a coward and did not testify.

How many men stay at home if they are innocent? Wouldn't come in court and deny the charge vehemently, forcefully?

As a lawyer and public defender in rape cases, I found it difficult to answer the question "why" -- why would a woman bring a false charge of rape, why would she face the consequences if the alleged rape had never occurred. It's not an easy question to answer.

The why question is still unanswered in this case, despite all the distractions from the cross-examination of the defense, from the right-wing media's constant commentary, and from Mr. Trump. There is only one logical answer: He did it. The other details are not relevant.

I asked my wife if E. Jean Carroll was a real person. I suspect most women and men think the same. Her testimony rings true! If he has done this, and I do believe that he has, it is another reason why he's not qualified to become president.

Arroyo Seco N.M.

To the Editor

Jodie Comer’s stunning one-woman show 'Prima Facit', which depicts a rape victims' engagement with the justice system, exemplifies E. Jean Carroll’s horrifying experience of being cross-examined, by Joseph Tacopina, one of Donald Trump’s lawyers.

Although the #MeToo campaign has made great strides, our legal system encourages victim-blaming while forcing women to relive some of their most painful moments in public. We still have a way to go.

Karen Dorn
Rye, N.Y.

To the Editor

Re 'The Importance Of E. Jean Carroll’s Lawsuit Against Trump' (Opinion Guest Essay, April 26)

Prof. Deborah Tuerkheimer may be right in stating that the civil lawsuit brought by E. Jean Carroll, where Ms. Carroll claims Mr. Trump raped in a department-store dressing room during the mid-1990s is an important part of the #MeToo Movement.

It is important also in another way: The #MeToo campaign has destroyed an essential aspect of criminal and civil law systems.

We will never be able to know what really happened in the case between Mr. Trump, Ms. Carroll and DNA. We do know that the passage by a quarter century can affect memories, especially those of trauma victims.

Donald Trump, given his boisterous, reprehensible, and boastful statements about forcing himself on women who are not welcoming, is someone I do not want to defend. Like all others accused of misconduct he has a right to a defence. But laws that allow civil suits to be filed decades after the alleged wrongdoing took place cripple this important right.

The author is a Professor at the University of Houston Law Center.

To the Editor

I believe E. Jean Carroll’s account of how Donald Trump raped her and changed her life. It took me 15 long years after I was raped to stop thinking about it and no longer be afraid of men.

I was ashamed and did not want anyone to know that I had been attacked. I wondered if people would blame me for it, even though I was sure it wasn't.


To the Editor

Daniel T. Willingham's 'There Are Better Ways To Study That Will Last A Lifetime' (Opinion Guest Essay, April 23)

I'm sceptical of prescribed methods. Teachers who are gifted inspire their students to learn for life, not because they follow a prescribed method but because they enjoy what they do.

They encourage curiosity and open their minds and hearts, both theirs and their students'. They take risks and are willing to try classes and experiments, even if they fail.

They innovate and rethink, regardless of the method. They spend time and energy nurturing the growth of their challenging, quirky students.

They love what they do. It is important enough for them to make it important for their students. Students study because they love it. The methods are great, but the real study happens when students care -- they dive in, get immersed, start swimming, and keep going. When teachers do the same, this happens.

The methods used to teach are infinitely different, but a teacher who is passionate about learning and demonstrates this passion through their teaching style will inspire lifelong learners.

The author is a senior professor in the Humanities Program at Yale University.

To the Editor

In order to encourage our young people to be lifelong learners, we should instill in them an appreciation and enthusiasm for good ideas and stories in all their forms and fields. These are the indestructible discoveries of the imagination.

The author is a professor emeritus at Simmons University.

When Indigenous Values Benefit a Forest


To the Editor

Re: "Who Will Harvest the Giving Forest Bounty?" Front page, April 22, 2019:

In the summer 1965, I volunteered on the Menominee Indian Reservation. The reservation was gaining its independence and becoming a part of Menominee County.

VISTA volunteers worked with tribal leaders in order to prepare the tribe's economic future. They used the forest, as their main resource, and the old sawmill to convert that resource into dollars.

Our job as college volunteers was different: we were to run summer camps for the kids, who would be attending public schools rather than tribal schools in fall. We were to help the children adjust to a new culture. In particular, we wanted to instill in them a sense of competition and individual success and to wean the tribe off its collective and cooperative spirit.

After completing my sophomore year in college, I knew very little, but the Menominee values were a welcome relief from the competitive environment that I had left behind. I'm happy to hear that Menominee value prevailed, and that the forest - which, according to your report, is "regarded by some as being the nation's very first sustainable forest" - has been the winner. We can only hope that their wise stewardship will continue.