Donald Trump has vowed to appeal and called it a “disgrace” after a jury found him responsible for sexually abusing a writer in the 1990s.
The former US president also defamed E Jean Carroll, but the civil lawsuit rejected her claim that she was raped during the meeting.
trump must pay former Elle magazine advice columnist $5m (£4m) in damages.
Ms Carroll, 79, said they met in a department store in Manhattan in 1995 or 1996 and that Trump ended up raping her in a locker room.
She also said he libeled her by claiming she made the story up.
Trump lashed out at his Truth Social site, calling the result “a continuation of the greatest witch hunt of all time” and a “disgrace”.
He said the judge was biased and made sure “the outcome was as negative as possible, speaking and scrutinizing a jury from an anti-Trump area…”
The nine-person jury deliberated for just under three hours before convicting him on Tuesday.
After the verdict, Carroll said he was suing Trump to “get my life back” and that “today the world finally knows the truth.”
“This victory is not just for me, but for every woman who has suffered because they weren’t believed,” she said.
He testified that the attack occurred after a chance encounter with Trump at the Bergdorf Goodman store across the street from Trump Tower.
She said it started as a lighthearted interaction where they teased each other by trying on a piece of lingerie, before Trump turned violent inside a locker room.
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Trump – who did not attend the trial and waived his right to testify or present a defense – insisted he never sexually assaulted Ms. Carroll or even knew her.
The 76-year-old, who hopes to win back the White House in 2024, won’t have to pay compensation until the case is on appeal.
Ms. Carroll told jurors that Trump had “shattered” her reputation.
His defamation claim was based on an October 2022 post on Truth Social in which he called his allegations a “complete scam” and “a hoax and a lie.”
‘No one is above the law’
Because it was a civil suit, Trump faces no criminal charges, but his former aide Sean Spicer said the rape charge would still be harmful.
“It’s never a good thing to have a verdict against you… especially of this nature,” he said.
Mr. Spicer said “optics matter in politics, but I think if you were President Trump right now… the rape charge would have hit hard.”
Ms Carroll’s lawyer Roberta Kaplan said the verdict was also a victory “for democracy itself and for all survivors everywhere”.
“No one is above the law, not even a former US president,” he added.
During the seven-day trial, jurors were also shown a Trump deposition confusing Ms. Carroll with his ex-wife Marla Maples in a photograph — which his lawyers said undermined his argument that she wasn’t his type.
Trump’s lawyers previously said Carroll had “abused the system” for “money, status and political motives.”
Speaking outside the courtroom, Trump’s attorney Joe Tacopina said it was an “inconsistent verdict” but was happy Trump “wasn’t being labeled a rapist.”
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“For me it’s about the results,” he said.
“While it was strange, part of me was obviously very happy that Donald Trump wasn’t labeled a rapist. I didn’t think there should be any liability findings, so we’re going to prosecute him.”