A jury has determined that disgraced American stand-up comedian and actor Bill Cosby sexually assaulted a minor at the Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles in 1975.
Judy Huth, the victim, testified during the civil trial that 84-year-old Cosby had forced her to engage in sex acts with him at the location when she was 16 years old.
In a legal setback for the formerly adored comedian and star of The Cosby Show, jurors in Los Angeles County found in favor of Judy Huth, who is now 64, giving her $500,000 in damages.
The jury concluded that Cosby willfully engaged in harmful intercourse with Huth, whom he reasonably believed to be under the age of 18, and that his actions were motivated by an irrational or abnormal desire to engage in sex with a child.
Huth claimed she and a companion met Cosby in a park and that the actor subsequently drove them to the Playboy Mansion in court documents and evidence at the trial. She said that Cosby, who was 37 at the time, attacked her and coerced her into engaging in sex without her consent. The actor has refuted this charge.
Huth, who first sued Cosby in 2014, first claimed the incident happened when she was 15 years old in 1974, but she later realized she was misinformed and that it actually occurred in 1975.
The verdict concludes one of the last outstanding legal claims made against 84-year-old Bill Cosby, who has been accused of sexual assault by more than 50 women over the course of nearly five decades.
More than 50 women came forward with abuse allegations against the former “America’s Dad,” which Cosby denies, less than a year ago, leading to the dismissal of his sexual assault conviction and Cosby’s release from prison.
One of the final legal measures against Cosby was the civil case in Santa Monica, California, which was the first to go to trial. It was initially filed in 2014, but Cosby’s legal troubles caused years of delay.
According to Ms. Huth’s lawsuit, he enticed her to a bedroom and forcibly touched her there after bringing her and another minor companion to the notorious home. She said that when she refused, he made her perform a sex act on him.
As her attorneys showed the court a picture of Ms. Huth and Cosby inside the home, Ms. Huth sobbed on the witness stand that she felt “angry, misled, and silly” after the encounter.
The comedian Cosby said he did not remember her and would not have pursued sex with a kid in a 2015 deposition, which the court saw despite the fact that he was not compelled to show up in person at the trial and never did.
Cosby’s attorneys attempted to disprove Ms. Huth’s assertions by pointing out that she initially stated that she was 15 at the time of the event but changed her story weeks before the trial.
They asserted that Ms. Huth submitted her picture with Cosby to tabloids and other publications in exchange for payment.
A 2016 videotaped deposition of late Playboy founder Hugh Hefner, a longtime friend of Cosby in the 1970s, was also shown for the jury. Hefner stated that it would have been “extremely rare” for minor girls to be permitted inside the estate.
The comedian, who is well-known to millions for playing TV dad Cliff Huxtable on The Cosby Show, has been accused of sexual assault, misconduct, and rape going all the way back to the middle of the 1960s.
He received a three- to 10-year prison sentence after being found guilty in 2018 of drugging and abusing a woman in his house in 2004.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court, however, reversed the conviction last year. After spent almost three years in jail, he was freed.