Bill Cosby Verdict Reached in Judy Huth Sexual Assault Trial – Deadline

Bill Cosby Verdict Reached in Judy Huth Sexual Assault Trial – Deadline

UPDATE, 15:39: bill cosby sexually assaulted a minor in the mid-1970s, a jury decided today.

After just over three full days of deliberations and one substitution, the Santa Monica panel this afternoon revealed its decision against the heavily accused. cosby show creator. Delivered to Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Craig Karlan with plaintiff Judy Huthhis legal team, Cosby’s defense team present in the packed courtroom, the 12-person jury awarded Huth $500,000 in 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 statement from the actor was shown to the court and jury during the trial. With his conviction for sex crimes in 2018 for the 2004 rape of Andrea Constance vacated by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in June 2021, Cosby, 84, is almost certain to appeal today’s verdict, sources tell me.

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 occurred at the Playboy Mansion in the mid-1970s when she was a teenager. Huth initially claimed the attack occurred in 1974, when she was 15, but the plaintiff later changed the date to 1975, when she would be 16.

PLUS

BEFORE, 14:42: Bill Cosby could find out soon if a California jury has convicted him of sexual assault.

For the second time in less than a week, jurors in Santa Monica told Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Craig Karlan that they had reached a verdict in Judy Huth’s civil case against the man once known as “Daddy Huth.” of the United States”. If all goes according to plan, the decision will be read in court within the next hour.

Unlike his criminal trials and now-overturned 2018 conviction for the 2004 rape of Andrea Constand, Cosby, 84, is not facing jail time in Huth’s case. However, the disgraced cosby show The creator could end up paying millions in damages if today’s verdict goes against him.

Huth, who first sued Cosby in 2014 for sexual assault and two other claims, alleges the previously jailed comedian assaulted her at the Playboy Mansion in the mid-1970s when she was 16. In language similar to the one Cosby and her team have been using. for years, a representative for the defendant said this month when the trial so long finally began that “Mr. Cosby will be fully exonerated once jurors hear the evidence and examine the many inconsistent accounts provided by Ms. Huth.”

“You have to decide what’s right,” Huth’s attorney, Nathan Goldberg, said in a sort of rebuttal to the jury last week during closing arguments. “But keep in mind that he must hold Mr. Cosby fully and completely accountable for the damage he did.”

Partner of Allred, Maroko and Goldberg of Goldberg glory around he has been in court every day of the trial and during jury deliberations.

Initially identifying the date of the alleged incident as occurring in 1974 and more recently changing the date to 1975, Huth excitedly provided vivid details of Cosby’s alleged sexual assault during her testimony. While an absent Cosby said she never met Huth, and the actor’s legal team mocked her for changing the year of the incident, Huth’s attorneys provided photographs of Cosby and Huth together taken by the latter’s friend, Donna Samuelson. . Faced with convincing testimony from both Huth and Samuelson, Cosby’s attorneys posited that the encounter between Huth and his client had occurred years later, when Huth was no longer a minor.

Cosby’s attorneys also tried to trap Huth with claims that she had been selling the photos to tabloids and others in the past for a large payment.

Cosby himself did not testify at the trial. Nevertheless, his 2015 videotaped statement it was played in the courtroom.

Although his assault claims have a prescribed time to be prosecuted as criminal charges, Huth was able to sue Cosby under California statute of limitations law if an accuser was abused as a minor and did not fully acknowledge what had happened until they were much more. older.

In that sense, the question of damages is in part what tripped up the jury and the trial on Friday, when a verdict seemed close.

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 made a decision on eight of the nine questions before them on the verdict form. . Indicating quite strongly that the decision went against Cosby, the only question jurors left unanswered was whether the defendant acted with “malice, oppression, or fraud,” in which case Huth could be awarded punitive damages.

That’s where things got complicated and somewhat unprecedented, both judicially and financially.

From the beginning of the trial, Karlan was well aware that a juror had to drop out due to a prior commitment as of June 20. The judge had promised to respect that deadline, which meant an alternate sat with the other 11 jurors as of Monday. It also meant the new jury “will have to start from scratch,” in Karlan’s words.

In deliberations in which 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 of a reset as Karlan makes it seem: In a civil case such as this, it is not required that the verdict be unanimous, as only nine of the 12 jurors need to agree for the verdict to be binding. So while the newly seated juror may have needed a couple of minutes to catch up, things clearly moved pretty quickly.

Adding to the jury drama, what made the final minutes of Friday’s trial sessions even more unusual was the fact that the partial verdict was delivered just as the Santa Monica Courthouse was about to close for the weekend. of week. Although Karlan reflected on the concerns expressed by Cosby’s team and accepted the partial verdict, time and money were ultimately not on her side.

Hearing from a court official that it was nearly 4:30 pm PT, the judge risked incurring costly overtime for the sheriff’s deputies who work in the courthouse if he took the near-full verdict. He eventually pushed the verdict back to this week. For a time today, the jury was transfixed with questions again about Cosby’s possible malice and potential punitive damages.

Sentenced to up to 10 years behind bars by a Pennsylvania judge in 2018 after a second trial for the rape of former Temple University employee Constand, Cosby had his conviction overturned in June 2021. After a series of failed appeals and loophole maneuvers by the comedian and his revolving door of attorneys, four of the seven Keystone State Supreme Court Justices decided last summer that the decision announced by then-County Attorney of Montgomery, Bruce Castor, not to prosecute Cosby in 2005 after investigating Constand’s original claim carried binding legal weight.

Immediately losing his sexual predator label, Cosby can’t retry for the same charges.

On March 7 this year, the US Supreme Court refused to review the case, as now-Montgomery District Attorney Kevin Steele had requested. That effectively ended the Constand case by exposing any new and remarkable circumstances.

More than 60 women have claimed Cosby drugged and assaulted them over the decades with a similar combination of pills and alcohol that he used on Constand. Some of those 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 sex crimes civil case against Cosby to go to trial.

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