A civil jury found that comedian-actor Bill Cosby sexually abused Judy Huth in 1975 when she was 16 years old, ordering her to pay $500,000.
The verdict was in Huth’s favour, which his lawyer, Gloria Allred, saw as a victory for “real change”, although no punitive compensation was awarded, ‘Variety’ reports.
Huth, now 64, accused Bill Cosby of luring him and a friend into the mansion days after meeting him at a park.
Reacting to the verdict and telling reporters he was grateful for the jury, “I was excited,” said Huth outside the courthouse. “It’s been so many years, so many tears, there’s still time to come.”
Allred praised Huth while speaking to reporters outside the courtroom.
“The late United States Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg once said, ‘Real change, lasting change happens one step at a time,'” Allred said.
“Today, our client won real change as she fought Bill Cosby one step at a time for more than seven and a half years. She proved by jury decision that Mr. Cosby sexually abused her when she was a minor, and He should be held accountable and he should be held accountable for what he did to her.
Allred noted that the case is the first to go to trial under the Child Victims Act, which protects adult survivors of child sexual abuse to come forward and hold their abuser accountable years later.
“She could come forward years later, and she would have the right to do so,” the lawyer and women’s rights activist said outside the court.
Cosby’s team appeared pleased with the result. When the verdict was read and no punitive damages were found, Cosby’s spokesman, Andrew Wyatt, smiled at the gallery and his lawyers were as happy as they left the courtroom.
In a statement released to the media following the verdict, Bill Cosby’s spokesperson said, “We have always maintained that Judy Huth, Gloria Allred and their accomplices have fabricated these false allegations to allow Mr. Cosby to finance his racism.” mission against successful and accomplished black people in America.”
The statement continued: “Mr. Cosby maintains his innocence and will vigorously fight these false allegations, so that he can return to the world in pursuit of joy, happiness and laughter.
The jury found that Cosby intended to cause a harmful or offensive contact with Huth and resulted in “s*xually offensive contact”, while also finding that Huth was “harmed” by Cosby’s conduct. .
The jury concluded that any “normal person, without hesitation” would have been “disturbed, irritated, hurt or injured” by Cosby’s conduct. Nine jurors voted that they agreed that Cosby’s conduct was “motivated by an unnatural or unusual sexual interest in a minor, while three jurors disagreed.
focused on testing testimony Huth and her friend, Donna Samuelson, as well as two other women alleged that Cosby also sexually assaulted them in 1975.
The verdict came after nearly three days of deliberations, and the jury had to resume those deliberations from scratch after a juror was exempted from the case due to scheduling conflicts.
The jury repeatedly asked questions, and remained adamant about whether the case escalated to the level of punitive damages. In the midst of that process, Huth’s team suggested a partial verdict, while Cosby’s team asked for a false test – marking their third separate request for a wrong test, all of which were denied by Judge Craig Carlan. done.
Last Friday, the jury almost reached a verdict, but had to begin with its deliberations on Monday morning, when the foreperson was exempted from the case and replaced with a substitute.
Foreperson said Friday that jurors had agreed to eight of the nine questions they were asked to decide. Judge Carlan initially said he would make a partial decision on Friday afternoon, but changed his mind when a sheriff’s deputy informed him that the courthouse would close within minutes.
On Monday, Judge Carlan informed both sides that he put a lot of thought into his decision, and directed the jury to “disregard” and resume their deliberations from the week before.
The jury had trouble reaching an agreement on the question on the Special Judgment Form, asking whether Cosby acted with “maliciousness, harassment or fraud” that would trigger punitive damages.
In his statement sent to the media, Cosby’s spokesman suggested he was unhappy with the judge’s decision to ask the jury to continue deliberating, adding that the jury had sent a note earlier in the day stating that Said that they are “seemingly deadlocked” and wished to “return the decision with concurrence” on a question regarding punitive damages.
Earlier on Tuesday morning, the judge re-argued between the two sides at one point for the jury, according to Variety. It is extremely unusual for arguments to continue in the midst of deliberations.
Cosby’s attorney, Jennifer Bonzen, urged the jury not to consider outside opinions or allegations what Cosby may have done to Hooth.
Bonzen also raised questions about the timeline of events, and told the jury that a common theme of Huth’s testimony was that she was “angry” but not “upset” to the point where it was her day— Affected everyday life.
“After forty years, she begins to experience distress?” Bonzen said.
“It shouldn’t take you 40 years to realize that something was so reprehensible, as the plaintiffs say.”
Earlier at trial, Huth testified that he and his friend felt like they were on an “adventure” when Cosby invited him to the mansion. But she was horrified when Cosby put her on the bed next to him.
“It wasn’t what I wanted at all,” she told the jury. “I was panicking.”
cosby, 84, exercised his Fifth Amendment right not to testify, and did not attend the trial. Instead, jurors watched clips from his videotaped statement, in which he said he would never pursue a minor for s*x. The jurors also saw excerpts from Hugh Hefner’s statement, taken before his death in 2017.
Huth filed her suit in December 2014, as several other women were coming forward with charges against Cosby. The trial was postponed for several years, while Cosby faced two criminal trials for sexual assault in Pennsylvania.
Cosby’s criminal conviction was reversed last year, and he was freed after serving nearly three years in state prison.