Bill Cosby is found guilty of molesting a minor in 1975
A jury in Bill Cosby’s civil trial concluded Tuesday that the comedian and actor sexually assaulted a 16-year-old girl at the Playboy mansion in 1975.
The Los Angeles County jury deliberated and returned the verdict in favor of Judy Huth, who is now 64 years old, awarding her $500,000.
“It’s been torture,” Huth said of the legal battle that began in 2014. “Being ripped apart, thrown on the bus and run over again. For me it is a great victory”.
The jury concluded that Cosby intentionally caused harmful sexual contact with Huth, that he reasonably believed she was under the age of 18, and that his conduct was prompted by an abnormal sexual interest in a minor.
The jury’s decision is a major legal defeat for the 84-year-old entertainer who was once dubbed “America’s Dad.” It comes nearly a year after his Pennsylvania criminal conviction for sexual assault was overturned and he was released from prison. Huth’s lawsuit was one of the last pending against Cosby after his insurer, against Cosby’s wishes, reached multiple legal settlements with other alleged victims.
Cosby did not attend the trial or testify in person, but short videos of a statement he gave in 2015 were presented to the jury, in which he denied having sexual contact with Huth. Cosby continues to deny the allegations through his attorney and publicist.
Cosby spokesman Andrew Wyatt said they will appeal and said they won because Huth received no punitive damages.
The jury had already concluded almost all the questions it was given in the verdict format, including whether Cosby had abused Huth and whether she deserved compensation, by Friday after two days of deliberations. But the jury supervisor was unable to continue his work due to a personal commitment and the panel had to start deliberating all over again with a substitute juror on Monday.
Cosby’s attorneys agreed that Cosby met Huth and a female friend on a film set in Southern California in April 1975, and a few days later he took them to the Playboy mansion.
Huth’s high school friend Donna Samuelson, a key witness, took pictures of the mansion with Huth and Cosby, which were shown at trial.
Huth testified that in a room next to a game room where the three of them had enjoyed themselves, Cosby attempted to put his hand down her pants, then exposed himself and forced her to have sexual contact.
Huth filed her lawsuit in 2014, arguing that her son would be 15, the age she initially remembered going to the Playboy mansion, and that a wave of women who had accused Cosby of similar acts relived the trauma she had suffered. when a teenager.
Huth’s attorney Nathan Goldberg told the jury of nine women and three men during closing arguments Wednesday that “my client deserves to have Mr. Cosby held accountable for what he did.”
“Each of you knows in your heart that Mr. Cosby sexually abused Ms. Huth,” Goldberg said.
Apparently, the majority of the jury agreed and gave Huth victory in a lawsuit that took eight years to settle and overcame many obstacles to just start his trial.
During her testimony, Cosby’s attorney Jennifer Bonjean questioned Huth and Samuelson on multiple occasions about errors in the details of their statements, and the similarity of their versions, which according to the attorney represented coordination between the two women.
This included noting in pre-trial statements and in police interviews that Samuelson played “Donkey Kong” that day, even though the game was released six years later.
Bonjean made this very clear, and both sides began calling the tactic “the Donkey Kong defense.”
Goldberg asked the jury to ignore the small errors of detail that he said are inevitable in accounts of events that took place 45 years ago and to focus on the main issues behind the accusations. She pointed out to the jury that Samuelson said “games like ‘Donkey Kong’” when she first mentioned it in his statement.
Cosby’s attorney began her closing arguments by saying “He’s lit up like Donkey Kong” and ended by saying “game over.”
Huth’s attorney reacted with outrage during his rebuttal.
“This is about justice!” he yelled, banging on the podium. “We don’t need game over! We need justice!”
The Associated Press does not typically name people who say they have been victims of sexual abuse, unless they speak out publicly as Huth has done.