Bill Cosby found liable in civil case for sexual assault in 1975

By Lisa Richwine

SANTA MONICA, Calif. (Reuters) -A California jury in a civil case dominated on Tuesday that Invoice Cosby sexually assaulted a girl on the Playboy Mansion in 1975 when she was a youngster and ordered the comic to pay her $500,000 in damages for emotional misery from the incident.

Judy Huth had testified that the comic invited her and a buddy to the mansion when she was 16, and he was 37, and compelled her to carry out a intercourse act.

The decision got here almost a 12 months after Cosby was free of jail when Pennsylvania’s highest court docket threw out his sexual assault conviction in a distinct legal case there.

Huth’s lawsuit was the primary civil case towards Cosby to return to trial.

Huth, now 64, mentioned she was “elated” by the ruling within the case, which she filed in 2014 after media reviews detailed accusations towards Cosby by a number of ladies. These reviews helped fire up reminiscences of her encounter with Cosby, Huth mentioned, and triggered 4 years of hysteria and different signs.

“It has been so a few years, so many tears,” Huth advised reporters exterior California Superior Court docket in Santa Monica. “It has been a very long time coming.”

Huth advised the jury that Cosby had invited her and the buddy to the mansion just a few days after they met the then-famous actor and comic at a public park. After she emerged from a rest room, Cosby took her hand and used it to masturbate his penis, she mentioned.

Cosby, who didn’t seem in particular person on the trial, denied Huth’s allegation. His protection staff will attraction the decision, Cosby spokesman Andrew Wyatt mentioned.

“Mr. Cosby continues to keep up his innocence and can vigorously struggle these false accusations, in order that he can get again to bringing the pursuit of happiness, pleasure and laughter to the world,” Wyatt mentioned in a press release.

Cosby, 84, is greatest identified for his position because the lovable husband and father within the Nineteen Eighties tv comedy collection “The Cosby Present,” incomes him the nickname “America’s Dad.” However his family-friendly repute was shattered after greater than 50 ladies accused him of sexual assaults over almost 5 a long time.

Huth introduced the case underneath a California legislation that enables individuals who declare they had been abused as youngsters to file civil circumstances years later as adults.

Three different ladies who’ve accused Cosby of abuse attended the trial and advised reporters they felt vindicated by the decision. Lili Bernard, who has a civil lawsuit pending towards Cosby in New Jersey, mentioned the ruling was “necessary for each sexual assault survivor who has not obtained justice.”

“We are going to by no means surrender,” she mentioned.

The jury didn’t rule totally in Huth’s favor. By a 9-3 vote, they mentioned she had not supplied “clear and convincing proof” that Cosby had acted with “malice, oppression or fraud.”

If jurors had voted sure on that query, they may have supplied extra punitive damages to Huth.

In video of a deposition proven to jurors, Cosby mentioned he didn’t bear in mind Huth. However he mentioned the incident couldn’t have occurred as a result of he wouldn’t have pursued sexual contact at the moment with somebody who was underneath age 18.

Cosby lawyer Jennifer Bonjean challenged Huth’s account all through the trial, together with her revised timeline.

When the lawsuit was filed in December 2014, Huth mentioned the incident occurred in 1974, when she was 15. She advised jurors she just lately concluded that she had been mistaken in regards to the 12 months and now believes it occurred in 1975.

(Reporting by Lisa Richwine; Writing by Tyler Clifford; Enhancing by Richard Chang and Richard Pullin)

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