SANTA MONICA, California (AP) – Jurors at a civil trial found Tuesday that Bill Cosby sexually abused a 16-year-old girl at the 1975 Playboy Mansion.
A Los Angeles County court has sentenced Judy Huth, now 64, to $ 500,000. She said that the fact that the jurors believed her story meant more than the amount of money or the fact that she did not win punitive compensation.
“It was torture,” Huth said of the seven-year legal battle. “To tear you, you know, to throw you under the bus and make you back. “This, for me, is such a great victory.”
The jurors found that Cosby had deliberately had sexually abusive sex with Huth, that he reasonably believed he was under the age of 18, and that his behavior was due to an abnormal or abnormal sexual interest in a minor.
The jury’s decision is a major legal defeat for the 84-year-old entertainer who was once hailed as America’s father. It comes almost a year after his rejection of his criminal conviction for sexual assault in Pennsylvania and his release from prison. Huth’s lawsuit was one of the last remaining legal claims against him, as his insurer settled several others against his will.
Cosby did not attend the trial or testify in person, but small clips from the 2015 video were played for jurors, in which he denied any sexual contact with Houth. He continues to deny the allegation through his attorney and journalist.
Cosby spokesman Andrew Wyatt said he would appeal the verdict, arguing that the defense won because Huth did not win punitive damages.
The jurors had already reached conclusions on almost every question on their verdict form, including whether Cosby abused Huth and deserved compensation, after two days of debate on Friday. However, the head of the jury could not serve further due to personal commitment and the committee had to start discussing from the beginning with an alternate juror on Monday.
Cosby’s lawyers agreed that Cosby met Huth and her high school girlfriend in a Southern California movie filmed in April 1975 and then took them to the Playboy mansion a few days later.
Huth’s girlfriend, Donna Samuelson, a key witness, took pictures at Huth and Cosby’s mansion, which looked large at the trial.
Huth testified that in a bedroom next to a playroom where the three of them hung out, Cosby tried to put his hand under her pants, then exposed himself and forced her to have sex.
Huth filed a lawsuit in 2014, saying her son turned 15 – the age he initially remembered when he went to the mansion – and a wave of other women accusing Cosby of similar acts brought new trauma to what he had gone through as a teenager. .
Huth’s lawyer, Nathan Goldberg, told the jury of nine women and three men during the final hearings on Wednesday that “my client deserves to be held accountable for what Cosby did.”
“Every one of you knows that Mr. Cosby sexually assaulted Miss Hut,” Goldberg said.
At least nine of the 12 jurors agreed, giving Huth a victory in a suit that took almost eight years and overcame many obstacles just to get to trial.
During their testimony, Cosby’s lawyer, Jennifer Bonjean, consistently challenged Huth and Samuelson for errors in the details of their stories and for the similarity in the accounts that the lawyer said represented the coordination between the two women.
That included women who said in preliminary statements and police interviews that Samuelson had played Donkey Kong that day, a game that was released just six years later.
Bonjean did a lot of it, in what both sides called “Donkey Kong defense.”
Goldberg asked jurors to scrutinize the small mistakes he said were inevitable in 45-year-old stories and to focus on the main issues behind the allegations. He told jurors that Samuelson said “games like Donkey Kong” when she first mentioned it in her testimony.
Cosby’s lawyer began her final discussion by saying, “He’s like Donkey Kong,” and concluded by saying, “The game is over.”
Huth’s lawyer reacted angrily during his counterattack.
“This is justice!” he shouted pounding on the podium. “We do not need the game to end! We need justice! “
The Associated Press usually does not name people who say they have been sexually abused unless they appear in public, as Huth did.
Outside the court, a group of four women who said they represented dozens of victims of Cosby’s sexual abuse celebrated the verdict.
Celan Lhasa, who testified against Cosby in the Pennsylvania case, wept. He said he had drugged and assaulted her in the Las Vegas Hilton Elvis Presley Suite when she was 17 years old.
“He’s a boogie, he’s a sexual predator, he’s a deviant,” Lhasa said. “It’s horrible. It is another victory. I came here to stand with Judy. I’m proud of Judy. “I’m happy with the result.”