Bill Cosby denied a retrial in sexual-assault civil case

Bill Cosby was denied a new trial in a civil trial in which a jury found he sexually abused Judy Huth as a teenager in 1975. In June, she was awarded $500,000 in damages.

In his decision, Santa Monica Superior Court Justice Craig D. Karlan explained why Cosby’s appeal was denied, writing that the actor “has not established that he received an unfair trial or that there was insufficient evidence to establish that he received an unfair trial.” to prove his liability for the damage suffered by the plaintiff”.

Karlan further noted that Huth’s attorneys were able to provide evidence that Cosby “intended to have sexual contact with her,” despite knowing that she was a minor at the time.

Huth, who now lives in Riverside County, said at her June trial that she met Cosby around 1975 while he was filming a movie in San Marino. Huth claimed Cosby invited her and a friend to a tennis club where he gave them drinks before taking them to the Playboy Mansion and telling them they were 19 if anyone asked. Huth was 16 years old at the time.

Huth first filed her civil suit against Cosby in 2014, but it was long delayed while the comedian was being tried in Pennsylvania on allegations of sexual assault. He was found guilty in this case and sentenced to three to ten years in state prison. But after his conviction in that case was overturned in 2021, momentum in Huth’s case picked up again.

Huth told the Santa Monica jury in June that Cosby tried to put his hands down her pants, but she lied and said she was on her period to get him to stop. Instead, she said, he forced her hand onto his erect penis and masturbated until he climaxed.

“I had my eyes closed at that point,” Huth said in court. “I freaked out.”

In her lawsuit, Huth alleged that the attack caused her psychological distress in the form of anxiety attacks and flashbacks that began in 2014 and lasted through 2018 — when Cosby was convicted and sent to prison in Pennsylvania.

She said her mind kept going back to the Cosby incident, especially when other women began accusing him of similar behavior.

“It’s like a movie that goes on and on and I couldn’t change the channel,” she said.

The former comedian did not appear in court during the Santa Monica trial, and since it was a civil trial rather than a criminal trial, he did not face a possible jail term.

Cosby has continued to maintain his innocence in Huth’s case and has denied allegations from all the women (around 60 in all) who have accused him of rape and sexual assault, among other things.

“I want to thank all the women who have spoken out over the years and refused to remain silent in the face of what they believed to be injustice and sexual abuse at the hands of powerful men,” said Gloria Allred, one of Huth’s attorneys, in a June statement to The Times. “The late United States Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg once said, ‘Real change, lasting change, happens incrementally.’ Today our client, Judy Huth, made a real difference fighting Bill Cosby step by step for over 7½ years and she proved by jury verdict that Mr. Cosby sexually assaulted her when she was a minor , and that he should be responsible for what he did to her.”

Immediately following the June 21 jury decision, Cosby’s spokesman, Andrew Wyatt, expressed his delight at the verdict because his client would not have to pay punitive damages. He said the actor’s attorneys plan to appeal.

“Yesterday, actor and comedian Bill Cosby was awarded a stunning victory by the jury in a civil trial brought by Judy Huth,” Wyatt said in a June email to the Times. “The jury decided to award Judy Huth a judgment of $500,000.00, but voted 9-3 not to award Ms. Huth punitive damages.

“Within weeks, attorney Jennifer Bonjean will be in court for Judge Craig D. Karlan to appeal the $500,000 judgment, meaning Ms. Huth will never receive a payday from Mr. Cosby.”

City News Service and Times contributors Christi Carras and Kenan Draughorne contributed to this report. Bill Cosby denied a retrial in sexual-assault civil case

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