SANTA MONICA — The 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.
The jury found that Cosby intentionally caused Huth to have injurious sexual contact, 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 reached multiple legal settlements with other alleged victims against Cosby’s will.
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.
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 friend of hers on a film set in Southern California in 1975, and that he took them to the Playboy mansion a few days later.
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.