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Federal Judge Lewis Kaplan, who presided over E. Jean Carroll’s defamation lawsuits against former President Donald Trump, has not been accused of or faced charges for sex trafficking.
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An Instagram post baselessly accused the judge who handled two defamation lawsuits involving former president Donald Trump of sex trafficking, sharing an article that referred to the judge’s role in a Jeffrey Epstein-related lawsuit.
A Jan. 28 Instagram post shared a screenshot of a Truth Social post from Gateway Pundit that linked to an article on the conservative website with the headline, "Who is Bill Clinton-Appointed Judge Lewis Kaplan, the Judge in the E. Jean Carroll Case?"
Sticker text atop the Instagram post read "Wait till you find out he was involved in sex trafficking."
The post was flagged as part of Meta’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram.)
The Gateway Pundit article does not, however, say that Kaplan is involved in sex trafficking. If Kaplan, a high-profile federal judge, were accused of such a crime, there would be news coverage, but we could find none in a search of Google and a Nexis database.
We found no evidence that Kaplan has been accused of or charged with sex trafficking.
A Manhattan jury on Jan. 26 awarded Carroll, a longtime advice columnist and journalist, $83.3 million in her defamation lawsuit against Trump, whom she accused of raping her in a New York department store in 1996.
That verdict is in addition to the $5 million a jury awarded Carroll in May after finding Trump liable for sexually abusing her.
Kaplan presided over both trials, and the Gateway Pundit article criticizes his rulings in the cases.
The article also noted that Kaplan has been involved in other high-profile trials, and that he dismissed a lawsuit against Britain’s Prince Andrew by one of Epstein’s accusers. Epstein died by suicide in 2019 in a Manhattan jail cell while awaiting trial on federal sex trafficking charges.
Virginia Giuffre, who accused Epstein of sex trafficking her, in 2021 filed a lawsuit against Prince Andrew, whom she accused of sexually assaulting her when she was 17.
Kaplan dismissed that case in March 2022, only after lawyers for Giuffre and Prince Andrew reached a settlement that included a large donation from the prince to Giuffre’s charity. Two months earlier, Kaplan had rejected Prince Andrew’s motion to dismiss the case.
We rate the Instagram post’s claim that Kaplan was involved in sex trafficking Pants on Fire!
Gateway Pundit, Truth Social post, Jan. 27, 2024
Gateway Pundit, Who is Bill Clinton-Appointed Judge Lewis Kaplan, the Judge in the E. Jean Carroll Case?, Jan. 27, 2024
The Associated Press, Donald Trump must pay an additional $83.3 million to E. Jean Carroll in defamation case, jury says, Jan. 26, 2024
The Associated Press, Jury finds Trump liable for sexual abuse, awards accuser $5M, May 9, 2023
The Associated Press, Epstein accuser sues Prince Andrew, citing sex assault at 17, Aug. 10, 2021
The Associated Press, Sex abuse lawsuit against Prince Andrew formally dismissed, March 8, 2022
NBC News, U.S. judge rejects Prince Andrew's bid to dismiss sexual abuse lawsuit, Jan. 12, 2022
Washington Post, Judge clarifies: Yes, Trump was found to have raped E. Jean Carroll, July 19, 2023
Court filing, Memorandum opinion denying defendant's Rule 59 motion, July 19, 2023
Reuters, Judge finds Donald Trump's appeal in E. Jean Carroll case 'frivolous', Aug. 28, 2023
USA Today, Kaplan August ruling Trump counterclaim, Aug. 7, 2023
ABC News, E. Jean Carroll wins partial summary judgment in original 2019 defamation case against Trump, Sept. 6, 2023
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