New legal setback for Bill Cosby. A Los Angeles jury has found that the comedian sexually abused Judy Huth in 1975, when she was 16 years old. The attack occurred at a party at the Playboy mansion, Hugh Hefner’s residence, a place that has become the scene of controversy and numerous complaints of sexual harassment in recent years. The comedian, who will turn 85 in July, will have to pay his victim half a million dollars as part of this new civil lawsuit, which further tarnishes the reputation of one of the great African-American actors. Cosby’s defense has said that he will appeal the decision, and has stated that he does not consider this a new setback, since his client will not pay any amount for damages.
“I feel vindicated, it’s a big step for all the victims,” said Huth, who is 64 years old, this afternoon. His legal battle against one of the biggest names on television began seven years ago. He sued him in 2014, when several women began suing Cosby for drugging and raping them. Huth claims to have relived the trauma when her son turned 15, the age she thought she was when the comedian invited her to a party in April 1975 and where he locked her in a room to show her his penis and force her to have oral sex .
Cosby has denied this allegation since 2015, when he testified in the case. On this occasion, she alleged health problems to avoid a new passage through a court. The sexual predator regained his freedom last year after the Pennsylvania Supreme Court overturned his conviction for a due process failure. His insurance company agreed to compensate many of the women who reported him.
“Each of you know that Mr. Cosby sexually assaulted Mrs. Huth,” said the victim’s attorney, Nathan Goldberg. The jury, made up of nine women and three men, seemed to agree. After two days of deliberations, it reached a verdict last Friday. But a personal problem of one of the members of the jury forced a new deliberation to start from scratch this Monday.
The defense strategy focused on questioning the facts, which occurred almost 50 years ago. Cosby’s lawyers tried again and again to cast doubt on Huth’s account because of a number of erroneous details the victim made in his account. In his first testimony, he stated that the attack had been in 1974, when he was 15 years old. He later he corrected. At another point, Huth told police that before going to the party he had been playing the Donkey Kong video game. This, Cosby’s lawyers made him see, would not be released until six years later.
The key in the trial was Donna Samuelson, the friend who accompanied Huth to the party at the Playboy mansion. She took several photos of the event site and the comedian, which weighed on the members of the jury, who could see irrefutable proof that the comedian and the teenager had been together.
Judy Huth recounted that she met Cosby in a park that served as the location of the tape Let’s do it again, which the comedian starred in alongside Sidney Poitier. “Bill Cosby was then a celebrity, a star,” Golberg said at the opening session of the trial. “At the time, Judy was just a high school student. She was 16 years old. The chances of these worlds meeting were slim,” he added.
Cosby and Huth met again. He offered the minor alcohol as part of “a game.” He then took her to the party, where he locked her in the room next to a game room in the Hefner residence. The defense admitted, from the photograph, that the encounter happened, but they assured that there was no abuse. They also tried to argue that Huth was 18 years old.
This new verdict adds to an avalanche of accusations made about Cosby, one of the protagonists of the #MeToo movement. the star of The Bill Cosby Show Y Cosby faced the accusation of 60 women who claim to have been his victims in various episodes that occurred between 1960 and 2000. The stories stated that the actor took advantage of his image of a family man that he had developed in the television series.
Until this Tuesday, only the complaint of Andrea Constand, an administrator of a basketball team at Temple University (Philadelphia), an institution in which Cosby was a patron, had prospered. The former basketball player claimed that the comedian gave her three blue pills in 2004 to numb her and then penetrate her with her fingers. Cosby had admitted under oath that he had bought drugs to give to women so he could have sex with them. The actor assured that the sexual relations were consensual.
The comedian was sentenced in 2018 to a sentence of up to 10 years in prison for the rape of Constand. He was in a cell for almost three years. His conviction was overturned by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, which argued that a district attorney had struck a deal with the sexual predator not to prosecute him.