US jury finds Bill Cosby sexually assaulted teen in 1970s

Judy Huth, now 64, has been awarded $500,000 in damages after a Santa Monica jury determines Cosby sexually assaulted her in 1975 when she was just 16 after shooting him met on a movie set and doused her with alcohol.

Bill Cosby. Photo: AFP

LOS ANGELES — Bill Cosby sexually assaulted a teenager at the Playboy Mansion nearly 50 years ago, a California jury found on Tuesday, in the first civil decision against the veteran entertainer following dozens of allegations.

Judy Huth, now 64, has been awarded $500,000 in damages after a Santa Monica jury determines Cosby sexually assaulted her in 1975 when she was just 16 after shooting him met on a movie set and doused her with alcohol.

The case is the only successful legal action against Cosby, 84, who has been accused of using his fame to attack women for several decades.

The man formerly known as ‘America’s Dad’ was jailed in Pennsylvania for drugging and assaulting a woman in a separate criminal case in 2018, but was freed last year when his conviction was overturned over a detail technical.

During a two-week civil hearing, which Cosby did not attend, lawyers said he escorted Huth and his 17-year-old friend Donna Samuelson to Hugh Hefner’s mansion after met on a movie set.

The jury heard how, when Huth was alone with Cosby, the actor started kissing her and tried to put his hands in her clothes.

They were told that he then pulled down his own pants and forced her to perform a sex act on him.

Attorney Nathan Goldberg said that for many years Huth had repressed memories of the assault, but it came to the fore when other women began accusing him of assaulting them.

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“It was like a cork coming out of a bottle,” Goldberg said at the start of the case. “Memories came flooding back… she was overwhelmed with memories of Mr. Cosby and what he had done.”

She originally filed her complaint in December 2014, but the case was put on hold while various criminal investigations unfolded.

The civil trial showed a videotaped deposition of Cosby taken in 2015 in which he denied the assault and insisted he would never engage in sexual activity with an underage girl.

His lawyers have made much of the apparent discrepancies in Huth’s story, including that the two teenagers spent up to 12 hours at the mansion after the alleged assault.

They also argued that Huth originally claimed the attack happened in 1974, when she was 15, but later said it happened the following year.

The case never went to criminal prosecution because the statute of limitations had passed by the time Huth spoke to police.

California law allows adults who say they were sexually abused as minors, but only recently became aware of the harm, to file civil lawsuits years after the statute of limitations expires.

Cosby was a dominant figure in late 20th-century American popular culture and achieved great success as the affable obstetrician and father Cliff Huxtable on The Cosby Showwhich took place from 1984 to 1992.

But around 60 women, many of them former aspiring actresses and models, have publicly called Cosby a calculating serial predator who knocked victims unconscious with sedatives and alcohol to bed them for four decades.

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