Bill Cosby sentenced in sexual assault trial against Judy Huth – Deadline


Bill Cosby sentenced in sexual assault trial against Judy Huth - Deadline

UPDATE, 3:39 p.m.: Bill Cosby sexually abused a minor in the mid-1970s, a jury ruled today.

After a little over three full days of deliberations and one substitution, the Santa Monica panel this afternoon announced its decision against the many accused Cosby show Creator. The 12-member jury, handed over to LA Superior Court Judge Craig Karlan with plaintiff Judy Huth, her legal team and Cosby’s defense team in the presence of the crowded courtroom, also awarded Huth $500,000 in damages.

However, no punitive damages were awarded by the eight women and four men who made up the jury.

Bill Cosby was not in the courtroom when the message was read.

Cosby asserted his right to the Fifth Amendment against self-incrimination and, unlike Huth, did not testify at the two-week trial. During the trial, a 2015 video testimony of the actor was played to the court and jury. With his 2018 sex crimes conviction for the 2004 rape of Andrea Constand overturned by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in June 2021, 84-year-old Cosby is almost certain he will appeal today’s verdict, they say me sources.

The man once respectfully dubbed “America’s father” was sued by Judy Huth in 2014 for sexual harassment and more. The plaintiff alleged that the Cosby assault took place at the Playboy Mansion in the mid-1970s when she was a teenager. Huth first claimed the attack took place in 1974 when she was 15, but the plaintiff later pushed the date back to 1975, when she would have been 16.

SO FAR, 2:42 PM: Bill Cosby may know very soon if a California jury has ruled that he sexually assaulted a minor.

For the second time in less than a week, the Santa Monica jury has informed Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Craig Karlan that it has entered judgment in Judy Huth’s civil trial of the man once known as “America’s Father.” to have. If all goes according to plan, the decision will be read out in court within the hour.

Unlike his criminal trials and now-overturned 2018 conviction for the 2004 rape of Andrea Constand, 84-year-old Cosby does not face jail time in the Huth case. But ashamed Cosby show Creator could end up paying millions in damages if today’s verdict goes against him.

Huth, who first sued Cosby in 2014 for sexual molestation and two other allegations, alleges the previously jailed comedian assaulted her at the Playboy Mansion in the mid-1970s when she was 16. In language similar to what Cosby and his team did for years, a representative for the defendant said this month, as the much-delayed trial finally began, that “Mr. Cosby will be exonerated in full once the jury has heard the evidence and examined Ms. Huth’s many conflicting reports.”

“You have to decide what’s right,” Huth’s attorney, Nathan Goldberg, said in a counterargument of sorts during the closing arguments before the jury last week. “But please remember that you must hold Mr. Cosby fully accountable for the damage he has caused.”

Goldberg’s Allred, Maroko & Goldberg partner Gloria Allred was in court every day of the trial and during jury deliberations.

First, an emotional Huth identified the date of the alleged incident as 1974 and pushed the time back to 1975, during her testimony an emotional Huth provided vivid details of the alleged sexual assault by Cosby. While an absent Cosby said he never met Huth and the actor’s legal team mocked her for changing the year of the incident, Huth’s attorneys provided photos of Cosby and Huth together, taken by his friend Donna Samuelson. In the face of convincing evidence from both Huth and Samuelson, Cosby’s attorneys then posited that the encounter between Huth and her client had taken place years later, when Huth was no longer a minor.

Cosby’s attorneys also tried to dupe Huth with claims that she had sold the paintings to tabloids and others for a large payout in the past.

Cosby himself did not testify at the trial. However, his videotaped testimony from 2015 was played in the courtroom.

Although their claims of personal injury are statute-barred, Huth was able to sue Cosby under California law, which extends the statute of limitations if an accuser was abused when he was a minor and did not fully realize what had happened until they were much older.

With that in mind, the issue of damages is in part what tripped the jury and trial on Friday when it emerged that a verdict was imminent.

After nearly two days of closed-door deliberations, the 12-member jury returned to the courtroom late in the afternoon to announce that they had reached a decision on eight of the nine questions on the sentencing form before them. The only question left unanswered by the jury was a fairly strong indication that the decision was against Cosby, whether the defendant acted with “malice, oppression or fraud,” in which case Huth would be awarded punitive damages could.

This is where things got difficult and somehow unprecedented, both judicially and economically.

From the beginning of the trial, Karlan was aware that a juror had to leave the trial on June 20 due to a previous engagement. The judge had promised to meet that deadline, which meant a deputy was installed with the other 11 jurors as of Monday. It also meant that the new jury would have to “start from scratch,” in Karlan’s words.

In the deliberations, where the jury had already returned with numerous questions for the judge and some personal friction between two jurors, the reset may not be as much a reboot as Karlan paints it: In a civil trial like this, the verdict doesn’t have to must be unanimous as only nine of the 12 jurors need to agree for the verdict to be binding. While the newly installed juror might need a smack or two to get up to speed, things clearly moved pretty quickly.

What made the closing minutes of Friday’s session even more unusual, in addition to the jury drama, was the fact that the partial verdict was rightly handed down when the Santa Monica courthouse was scheduled to close for the weekend. Although Karlan considered the concerns expressed by Cosby’s team and accepted the partial verdict, ultimately the time and money were not on his side.

When the judge heard from a court official that it was nearly 4:30 p.m. PT, he risked costly overtime for the sheriff’s deputies manning the courthouse if he delivered the nearly-concluded verdict. After all, he postponed the verdict until this week. A while earlier today, the jury reappeared at a standstill with questions about Cosby’s potential malice and possible punitive damages

Cosby was sentenced to up to 10 years in prison by a Pennsylvania judge in 2018 after a second trial for the rape of former Temple University staffer Constand. His conviction was vacated in June 2021. The comedian and his revolving door of attorneys ruled four of the seven judges on the Keystone State Supreme Court last summer that the announced decision by then-Montgomery County Attorney Bruce Castor in 2005 after investigating Constand’s original lawsuit had no criminal weight.

Cosby immediately loses his label as a sex offender and cannot be tried again on the same charges.

On March 7 of this year, the US Supreme Court declined to review the case as requested by Montgomery DA Kevin Steele. This effectively ended the Constand case, barring new and notable circumstances.

More than 60 women have claimed that Cosby drugged and assaulted them with a similar combination of pills and alcohol to Constand over the decades. Some of these women attended both of Cosby’s criminal trials, the 2018 sentencing hearing and Huth’s trial, last month.

Huth’s allegations are the first civil sex crimes lawsuit against Cosby going through to trial.

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