June 22, 2022
Bill Cosby was once seen as the quintessential American father; the now defamed Philadelphia comedian has been found liable for sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl at the Playboy mansion in 1975.
On Tuesday, a jury in California found the 84-year-old Cosby liable for sexually assaulting Judy Huth and ordered him to pay her $500,000. Huth, now 62, sued Cosby in 2014, accusing the Philadelphia native of giving her alcohol 47 years ago before taking her to the famous mansion.
Once there, Cosby forcibly tried to grope Huth and forced her to touch his genitals, according to the Los Angeles Times, which had been covering the civil trial taking place in Santa Monica.
During closing arguments, Huth's attorney Nathan Goldberg told the jury, "Each of you knows in your heart that Mr. Cosby sexually assaulted Miss Huth." At least nine jurors agreed that Cosby intentionally acted, causing harm to an underage Huth.
Huth had said the trauma from her experience at the Los Angeles estate resurfaced when her son turned 15. When Huth originally filed the civil lawsuit in 2014, she had said she was 15 when she was assaulted by Cosby. Since then she has corrected herself and says she was 16 when the incident happened.
At least 60 women have come forward to accuse Cosby of sexual misconduct, and Cosby repeatedly has denied wrongdoing.
Cosby did not attend the trial. He only appeared via video deposition.
Bill Cosby was found liable Tuesday of sexually abusing Judy Huth at the Playboy Mansion in the mid-1970s when she was 16. https://t.co/l4d1bmKom0— Los Angeles Times (@latimes) June 22, 2022
According to the LA Times, Cosby's defense hinged on testimony during his depostion that he new Huth was underage and that's why it wasn't possible that the assault occurred.
"Why would that not be possible?” Goldberg asked in one videotaped exchange. “Because the fact that this young lady is saying that she told me she was 15,” Cosby said.
The trial for Huth's lawsuit had been delayed because of Cosby criminal trial here in Norristown, Montgomery County, on charges the he sexually assaulted Andrea Constand.
That case stemmed from a 2004 encounter when Cosby had invited Andrea Constand to his home and allegedly gave her pills sexually assaulted her. In 2018, Cosby was found guilty at trial for assault and was sentenced to three to 10 years in prison.
Cosby served more than two years more than two years of his sentence when the conviction was vacated in June 2021 the Pennsylvania Supreme Court and he was released. The court's decision cited an agreement Cosby and former Montgomery County District Attorney Bruce Castor made in 2005 that Cosby would not be charged criminally following a civil settlement agreement with Constand for $3.38 million.
Prosecutors appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court but in March that court decline to hear the case, meaning sexual assault conviction in the Constand case would not be reinstated.
After the verdict in the latest trial in California, Huth's lawyers released a statement thanking the jury for their client's compensation.
"I want to thank all the women that spoke out over the years and refused to be silent in the face of what they believed to be an injustice and sexual abuse by powerful men," said in a statement to the Times. "Today, our client, Judy Huth, won real change because she fought Bill Cosby one step at a time over seven and a half years, and she proved with the jury's verdict that Mr. Cosby did sexually assault her when she was a minor and that he should be held accountable for what he did to her."
Cosby's representative, Andrew Wyatt, said the comedian seemingly was unfazed by the verdict or having to pay $500,000, saying, "What? That's all?" He also added a "booyah!"