US jury finds Bill Cosby guilty of sexually abusing teenage girl
Santa Monica (USA) – The jury found TV legend Bill Cosby (84, “The Cosby Show”) guilty in a civil trial on Tuesday. Cosby sexually assaulted a 16-year-old girl at the Playboy Mansion in 1975.
Victim Judy Huth (now 64 years old) was awarded $500,000 in compensation. The jury found that Cosby willfully engaged in “harmful sexual contact” with Huth, that he had to assume she was under 18 and that his conduct was guided by an “unnatural or abnormal sexual interest in a minor.”
47 years after the fact, Judy Huth (here with sunglasses) has won the trial against her rapistPhoto: Richard Taber/AP
The jury’s decision is a major legal defeat for the 84-year-old entertainer, once hailed as America’s father. It comes almost a year after he was convicted of sexual assault in Pennsylvania and released from prison. Huth’s lawsuit was one of the last remaining legal claims against him.
Almost completely blind, Cosby (worth an estimated $400 million) did not attend the trial or testify in person, but the jury was shown short excerpts from a 2015 video interrogation in which he denied any sexual contact with Huth . He continues to deny the allegations through his attorney and press spokesman.
Bill Cosby and Judy Huth. Huth filed her lawsuit against the entertainer in 2014Photo: /AP
Since 2005, more than 50 women have come forward accusing Cosby of sexual harassment. After being convicted of assaulting Andrea Constand in Philadelphia, Cosby served nearly three years in a Pennsylvania state prison. The conviction was then overturned on appeal and Cosby was released from custody in September 2021.
It is undisputed that Cosby met Huth and her high school sweetheart on a film set in Southern California in April 1975 and took them to the Playboy mansion a few days later. Huth’s friend Donna Samuelson, a key witness, took photos at the mansion of Huth and Cosby, who played a major role in the trial.
Huth testified that in a bedroom adjoining a playroom where the three were together, Cosby tried to put his hand down her pants, then exposed himself and forced her to engage in a sexual act.
Huth’s attorney Nathan Goldberg told jurors during Wednesday’s closing arguments that “my client deserves that Mr. Cosby be held accountable for what he has done.” Each of you know in your heart that Mr. Cosby sexually abused Miss Huth,” Goldberg said.
The majority of the jury agreed, giving Huth a victory in a trial that lasted eight years and overcame many hurdles to even get to trial.