UPDATE, 3:39 p.m.: Bill Cosby sexually assaulted a minor in the mid-1970s, a jury decided today.
After just over three full days of deliberations and a substitution, the Santa Monica panel this afternoon revealed its decision against the much accused Cosby Show Creator. Handed over to Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Craig Karlan with plaintiff Judy Huth, her legal team, Cosby’s defense team present in the packed courtroom, the 12-person jury awarded Huth $500,000 damages.
Bill Cosby was not in the courtroom when the message was read.
Claiming his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination, Cosby did not testify at the two-week trial, unlike Huth. A 2015 video deposition of the actor was shown to the court and jurors during the trial. With his 2018 sex crimes conviction for the 2004 rape of Andrea Constand overturned by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in June 2021, Cosby, 84, is almost certain to appeal today’s verdict, people tell me. sources.
The man once respectfully called ‘America’s Dad’ was sued for sexual assault and more by Judy Huth in 2014. The plaintiff alleged that Cosby’s assault happened at the Playboy Mansion in the mid-1990s. 70, when she was a teenager. At first, Huth claimed the attack took place in 1974, when she was 15, but later the complainant moved the date to 1975, when she would have been 16.
PREVIOUSLY, 2:42 PM: Bill Cosby could find out very soon if a Californian jury found him guilty of sexual abuse.
For the second time in less than a week, Santa Monica jurors have told Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Craig Karlan that they have returned a verdict in Judy Huth’s civil case against the man. formerly known as “America’s Father”. If all goes as planned, the decision will be read out in court within an hour.
Unlike his criminal trials and his now overturned 2018 conviction for the 2004 rape of Andrea Constand, Cosby, 84, does not face jail time in the Huth case. However, the dishonored Cosby Show creator could end up paying millions of dollars in damages if today’s verdict is against him.
Huth, who first sued Cosby in 2014 for sexual assault and two other complaints, alleges the previously incarcerated comedian assaulted her at the Playboy Mansion in the mid-1970s when she was 16. In similar language to what Cosby and his team used. for years, a representative for the defendant said this month, when the much-delayed trial finally began, that “Mr. Cosby will be fully exonerated once the jurors have heard the evidence and considered the many inconsistent accounts given by Mrs. Huth.
“You have to decide what’s fair,” Huth’s attorney, Nathan Goldberg, said in a kind of rebuttal to jurors last week during closing arguments. “But please bear in mind that you must hold Mr. Cosby fully and completely responsible for the harm he has done.”
Goldberg’s Allred, Maroko & Goldberg partner, Gloria Allred, was in court all days of the trial and during jury deliberations.
Initially identifying the date of the alleged incident as having happened in 1974 and more recently moving the time to 1975, an emotional Huth provided startling details of Cosby’s alleged sexual assault during her testimony. While an absent Cosby said he never met Huth and the actor’s legal team ridiculed her for changing the year of the incident, Huth’s lawyers provided photographs of Cosby and Huth taken together by the latter’s friend, Donna Samuelson. In the face of compelling testimony from Huth and Samuelson, Cosby’s attorneys then posited that the encounter between Huth and their client had occurred years later, when Huth was no longer a minor.
Cosby’s attorneys also tried to frame Huth by claiming she had sold the photos to tabloids and others in the past for a large payout.
Cosby himself did not testify at trial. However, his videotaped deposition in 2015 was played in the courtroom.
Although his assault allegations are barred to be pursued as criminal charges, Huth was able to sue Cosby under California law which extends the statute of limitations if an accuser was abused as a minor and did not not fully recognized what had happened until they were much older.
In that vein, the question of damages is partly what tripped up the jury and the proceedings on Friday, when it first appeared that a verdict was near.
After nearly two days of closed-door deliberations, the 12-person jury returned to the courtroom in the late afternoon to announce that they had reached a decision on eight of the nine questions posed on the court form. verdict. Indicating quite strongly that the decision was against Cosby, the only question left unanswered by the jurors was whether the defendant acted “maliciously, oppressively or fraudulently”, in which case punitive damages could be awarded to Huth.
This is where things got tricky and somewhat unprecedented, both judicially and in terms of results.
From the start of the trial, Karlan was well aware that a juror had to leave the proceedings due to a pre-June 20 recognizance. The judge had promised to meet that deadline, meaning an alternate sat 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 deliberations that had already seen the jury return with many questions for the judge and personal friction between two jurors, the reset may not be as much of a reboot as Karlan makes it out to be: In a civil case like this , the verdict is not required to be unanimous, only nine of the 12 jurors needing to agree for the verdict to be binding. So while the newly seated juror may have needed a beat or two to get up to speed, things clearly moved pretty quickly.
In addition to the jury drama, what made the final minutes of the trial’s Friday sessions all the more unusual was the fact that the partial verdict was delivered as of right as the Santa Monica courthouse was about to close for the weekend. Even though Karlan reflected on the concerns expressed by the Cosby team, accepting the partial verdict, time and money were ultimately not on his side.
Learning from a court official that it was almost 4:30 p.m. Pacific time, the judge risked costly overtime for the sheriff’s deputies manning the courthouse if he delivered the verdict nearly complete. Eventually, he deferred the verdict to this week. For a time earlier in the day, the jury appeared at a standstill with questions again about Cosby’s potential malice and possible punitive damages.
Sentenced to up to 10 years behind bars by a Pennsylvania judge in 2018 after a second trial for the rape of the former Temple University employee Constand, Cosby had his conviction overturned in June 2021. After a series of ‘Unsuccessful appeals and legal maneuverings by the comedian and his revolving door of attorneys, four of seven Keystone State Supreme Court justices decided last summer that the decision announced by then-county attorney Bruce Castor of Montgomery, not to sue Cosby in 2005 after investigating Constand’s initial request had binding legal weight.
Immediately losing his sexual predator tag, Cosby cannot be retried on the same charges.
On March 7 of this year, the United States Supreme Court declined to reconsider the case, as Montgomery DA Kevin Steele had now requested. This effectively ended the Constand case by revealing new and remarkable circumstances.
More than 60 women have claimed Cosby drugged and assaulted them over the decades with a similar mixture of pills and alcohol used on Constand. Some of these women attended Cosby’s two criminal trials, the 2018 sentencing hearing and Huth’s trial over the past month.
Huth’s allegations are the first civil case over sex crimes allegations against Cosby to make it to trial.