Bill Cosby is back in court for sexual assault allegations, this time in a civil trial in Santa Monica, California.
The civil case has been brought by Judy Huth, 64. It stems from an alleged incident that took place in 1975 – when Huth was 16 – in Los Angeles.
According to the Associated Press, Huth and a friend met Cosby at a Los Angeles-area park, where he was filming the movie Let’s Do It Again with Sidney Poitier. A few days later, Huth’s lawsuit says, Cosby had her drink alcohol “as part of a game,” then took her to the Playboy Mansion.
There, according to the complaint, he took her into an isolated bedroom, kissed her on the mouth, slid his hand down her pants, and used her hand to perform a sex act on him. Huth filed suit against Cosby in 2014, seeking financial damages to be determined at trial.
No criminal charges have been brought, despite the fact Huth filed a police report.
Due to delays over Cosby’s two criminal trials and the pandemic, the case has taken eight years to come to trial.
Cosby has conceded that he met Huth and took her to the Playboy Mansion, but he denies any assault and claims she was 18 at the time. which would make any violation significantly less serious under California law.
Cosby is not required to attend this trial and reportedly has no plans to do so. Attorneys for Cosby say he will not attend because his glaucoma has left him blind.
Cosby did give one video deposition in the case, but he’s not required to give another one nor testify during the trial. Playboy Magazine founder and former mansion owner Hugh Hefner gave a deposition in the case before his 2017 death.
Jurors will have to decide whether Cosby committed the actions not beyond a reasonable doubt, but through a preponderance of the evidence. Unlike criminal cases, which require a unanimous jury, agreement among nine out of 12 will be enough.
Cosby, 85, was released from prison eleven months ago. He served three years before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court threw out his 2018 convictions on charges of drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand in 2004.