Jury Finds Bill Cosby Must Pay Judy Huth $500,000 for Abuse
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Bill Cosby Must Pay Woman $500,000 for Sexually Abusing Her at Playboy Mansion When She Was 16, Civil Jury Finds

 
Bill Cosby via Mark Makela_Getty Images

Bill Cosby

A California jury found Bill Cosby liable on Monday for sexually abusing a woman at the Playboy Mansion in 1975 when she was 16 years old.

Cosby, whose rape convictions were overturned by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court roughly one year ago, must pay $500,000 to Judy Huth, who is now 64, the Associated Press reported.

“The late United States Supreme Court Justice, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, once said, ‘Real change, enduring change, happens one step at a time,'” Huth’s attorney Gloria Allred wrote in an email to Law&Crime. “Today our client, Judy Huth, won real change because she fought Bill Cosby one step at a time over seven and a half years, and she proved with the jury’s verdict that Mr. Cosby did sexually assault her when she was a minor, and that he should be held accountable for what he did to her.”

Calling it an “honor” to represent Huth, the famed women’s rights lawyer commended Cosby’s accuser “for her courage and many sacrifices to win justice in this case.”

Cosby’s defense attorney Jennifer Bonjean did not immediately respond to Law&Crime’s email requesting comment.

But Bonjean reportedly blamed the nearly half-century long passage of time in a comment to the New York Times.

“It is extraordinarily difficult to defend against ancient claims,” she said.

Huth filed the suit after the passage of a law on the statute of limitations.

As Law&Crime previously reported, at least 60 women have publicly accused Cosby of sexual misconduct. Huth’s lawsuit is the first civil case against the entertainer for sexual assault that went to trial. Cosby reportedly did not testify, but portions of his previously videotaped deposition were shown to the jury.

Huth first sued Cosby in Los Angeles some eight years ago in 2014, but Cosby’s criminal prosecution in Pennsylvania stalled the civil litigation. Huth claimed that that Cosby, now 84, groped her at the Playboy Mansion.

Cosby denied the allegations.

According to the complaint, Huth and her 16-year-old friend first encountered Cosby during the filming of a movie at a park. She said that Cosby invited them to sit in a director’s chair and then had a “surprise” for them — an invitation to the Playboy Mansion, she said. She claimed that Cosby instructed her and her friend to tell the Bunnies they were 19 if anyone asked.

Huth claimed that Cosby tried to put his hand down her pants and then touched himself, recounting it in her lawsuit as a “traumatic incident” at a “tender age.” She claimed emotional damages.

When she initially filed her complaint, Huth claimed that she was 15 years old, but she subsequently revised the complaint to change her age by one year.

Before the trial, Cosby’s lawyer Bonjean characterized the revision as an “ambush,” but Huth’s legal team denied that.

“This is not a trial by ambush, as the defense stated to the press,” Allred previously told Law&Crime. “It is a trial by evidence.”

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Craig Karlan presided over the trial.

Elura Nanos contributed reporting.

(File photo via Mark Makela at Getty Images)

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Law&Crime's managing editor Adam Klasfeld has spent more than a decade on the legal beat. Previously a reporter for Courthouse News, he has appeared as a guest on MSNBC, BBC, NPR, PBS, Sky News, and other networks.