A Los Angeles jury found Bill Cosby guilty of sexually assaulting a then-16-year-old girl during a party at the Playboy Mansion in the 1970s. The civil case against the disgraced actor and comedian was filed by the plaintiff Judy Huth, CNN reported.
The jury also ordered Cosby to pay Huth $500,000 in damages. The plaintiff, however, wasn’t awarded punitive damages.
The case was initially filed by Huth in 2014. She alleged sexual battery as well as intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress. The filing also initially claimed Cosby sexually assaulted the plaintiff in 1974, and she was 15 years old at the time. The incident timeline was, however, amended to 1975. Huth’s age was also changed to 16.
But Cosby’s lawyers have maintained the 84-year-old’s innocence in the sexual misconduct allegations.
Huth, in her complaint, said Cosby was on set for a movie at a park when they met. The complaint added that Cosby invited Huth and her friend to his tennis club after he established friendships with the pair. From that location, Huth claimed Cosby invited them to another residence where he gave them several alcoholic drinks before taking them to the Playboy Mansion.
Hugh also alleged Cosby was aware of her age as well as that of her friend. But she claimed the comedian told them “that if any of the Playboy bunnies asked their age, they should say they were 19.”
The plaintiff alleged Cosby sexually molested her while they were in a bedroom in the mansion, CNN reported. She claimed the comedian took her to the room in question.
Responding to the verdict, Huth told reporters that she was “elated” by the court’s decision. “It has been so many years, so many tears,” she added.
Huth’s attorney, Nathan Goldberg, also said the case “proves that you can run but you can’t hide.”
And though the verdict did not go their way, Cosby’s spokesperson, Andrew Wyatt, said the comedian also welcomes the court’s decision. “What happened today wasn’t a victory, because they didn’t get the punitive damages,” Wyatt said.
Cosby was sentenced in September 2018 to three to 10 years in prison on three counts of aggravated assault for drugging and sexually assaulting former basketball player, Andrea Constand, in his home in 2004. However, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in June last year overturned his conviction, paving the way for his eventual release.
The Cosby Show actor had served more than two years of his sentence when the seven-member Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that he had been denied a fair trial in 2018. The judges said there was a “process violation” because Cosby’s lawyers had made an agreement with a previous state prosecutor that he would not be charged in the case. However, in 2015, a prosecutor filed charges after testimony from a civil lawsuit brought by Constand against the actor was disclosed, BBC reported.
Huth is the first Cosby accuser whose civil case against him proceeded to trial.