Civil jury finds Bill Cosby sexually abused teenager in 1975

The Los Angeles County jury delivered the verdict in favor of Judy Huth, who is now 64, and awarded her $500,000.

Associated Press

Jun 21, 2022, 10:52 PM

Updated 665 days ago

Share:

Civil jury finds Bill Cosby sexually abused teenager in 1975
Jurors at a civil trial found Tuesday that Bill Cosby sexually abused a 16-year-old girl at the Playboy Mansion in 1975.
The Los Angeles County jury delivered the verdict in favor of Judy Huth, who is now 64, and awarded her $500,000.
Jurors found that Cosby intentionally caused harmful sexual contact with Huth, that he reasonably believed she was under 18, and that his conduct was driven by unnatural or abnormal sexual interest in a minor.
The jurors’ decision is a major legal defeat for the 84-year-old entertainer once hailed as America’s dad. It comes nearly a year after his Pennsylvania criminal conviction for sexual assault was thrown out and he was freed from prison. Huth’s lawsuit was one of the last remaining legal claims against him after his insurer settled many others against his will.
Cosby did not attend the trial or testify in person, but short clips from 2015 video deposition were played for jurors, in which he denied any sexual contact with Huth. He continues to deny the allegation through his attorney and publicist.
Jurors had already reached conclusions on nearly every question on their verdict form, including whether Cosby abused Huth and whether she deserved damages, after two days of deliberations on Friday. But the jury foreperson could not serve further because of a personal commitment, and the panel had to start deliberating from scratch with an alternate juror on Monday.
Cosby’s attorneys agreed that Cosby met Huth and her high school friend on a Southern California film set in April of 1975, then took them to the Playboy Mansion a few days later.
Huth’s friend Donna Samuelson, a key witness, took photos at the mansion of Huth and Cosby, which loomed large at the trial.
Huth testified that in a bedroom adjacent to a game room where the three had been hanging out, Cosby attempted to put his hand down her pants, then exposed himself and forced her to perform a sex act.
Huth filed her lawsuit in 2014, saying that her son turning 15 — the age she initially remembered being when she went to the mansion — and a wave of other women accusing Cosby of similar acts brought fresh trauma over what she had been through as 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 assaulted Miss Huth,” Goldberg said.
A majority of jurors apparently agreed, giving Huth a victory in a suit that took eight years and overcame many hurdles just to get to trial.
During their testimony, Cosby attorney Jennifer Bonjean consistently challenged Huth and Samuelson over errors in detail in their stories, and a similarity in the accounts that the lawyer said represented coordination between the two women.
This included the women saying in pre-trial depositions and police interviews that Samuelson had played Donkey Kong that day, a game not released until six years later.
Bonjean made much of this, in what both sides came to call the “Donkey Kong defense.”
Goldberg asked jurors to look past the small errors in detail that he said were inevitable in stories that were 45 years old, and focus on the major issues behind the allegations. He pointed out to jurors that Samuelson said “games like Donkey Kong” when she first mentioned it in her deposition.
The Cosby lawyer began her closing arguments by saying, “It’s on like Donkey Kong,” and finished by declaring, “game over.”
Huth’s attorney reacted with outrage during his rebuttal.
“This is about justice!” he shouted, pounding on the podium. “We don’t need game over! We need justice!”
The Associated Press does not normally name people who say they have been sexually abused, unless they come forward publicly, as Huth has.
___
By BRIAN MELLEY Associated Press
AP Entertainment Writer Andrew Dalton contributed to this report.


More from News 12
1:41
Chief: Fire in Chester condo complex destroys several units

Chief: Fire in Chester condo complex destroys several units

2:02
Clouds, light rain Wednesday in the Hudson Valley

Clouds, light rain Wednesday in the Hudson Valley

0:27
Acting Supervisor Ed Lachterman declares victory in special election for Yorktown town supervisor

Acting Supervisor Ed Lachterman declares victory in special election for Yorktown town supervisor

0:21
'Blue Bloods' episode films in Yonkers

'Blue Bloods' episode films in Yonkers

0:28
Large black snake slithers around Congers Lake

Large black snake slithers around Congers Lake

0:21
Caught on camera: Bobcat spotted in residential area of Yonkers

Caught on camera: Bobcat spotted in residential area of Yonkers

0:30
Suffern High School helps crack John Doe case

Suffern High School helps crack John Doe case

1:59
Yonkers PD to use drones as first responders in new pilot program

Yonkers PD to use drones as first responders in new pilot program

2:02
Trump accuser E. Jean Carroll surrenders unlicensed firearm to Warwick police

Trump accuser E. Jean Carroll surrenders unlicensed firearm to Warwick police

1:37
 Independent report finds Poughkeepsie is eligible for rent stabilization

Independent report finds Poughkeepsie is eligible for rent stabilization

1:02
Rockland Community College library, student union closed 'until further notice' due to submerged transformer

Rockland Community College library, student union closed 'until further notice' due to submerged transformer

0:53
Republican lawmakers in Yonkers call for an end to New York's faith-based housing proposal

Republican lawmakers in Yonkers call for an end to New York's faith-based housing proposal

1:37
Elmsford PD: Man arrested on weapons charge during ‘extreme risk protection order’ raid

Elmsford PD: Man arrested on weapons charge during ‘extreme risk protection order’ raid

0:44
Ex-Mount Hope supervisor released from prison after guilty plea in child sex case and ‘judicial error’

Ex-Mount Hope supervisor released from prison after guilty plea in child sex case and ‘judicial error’

0:25
Cortlandt Manor tax preparer known as ‘The Magician’ accused of $100 million tax fraud

Cortlandt Manor tax preparer known as ‘The Magician’ accused of $100 million tax fraud

0:42
Porch collapse in Dutchess County leaves 1 injured

Porch collapse in Dutchess County leaves 1 injured

Vote 2024: Ask your questions for Congressional District 16 Democratic candidates

Vote 2024: Ask your questions for Congressional District 16 Democratic candidates

0:54
Mandatory seat belt law proposal for charter buses spurred after fatal Orange County crash

Mandatory seat belt law proposal for charter buses spurred after fatal Orange County crash

0:23
Vandalism at New Hampton park prompts search for culprit

Vandalism at New Hampton park prompts search for culprit

1:00
Headlines: Officer charged in illegal eavesdropping, drug dealer arrested again, missing woman

Headlines: Officer charged in illegal eavesdropping, drug dealer arrested again, missing woman