(FILES) This file photo taken on February 2, 2016 shows US comedian Bill Cosby arriving at the Montgomery County courthouse in Norristown,Pennsylvania.<br />A US jury resumed deliberations on June 13, 2017 on whether disgraced comedy legend Bill Cosby sexually assaulted a woman at his Philadelphia home more than 13 years ago, after failing to reach a verdict Monday. The 79-year-old pioneering black comedian risks spending the rest of his life in prison if convicted on three counts of aggravated indecent assault, which each carry a maximum sentence of 10 years in jail and a $25,000 fine, following one of America’s biggest celebrity trials in years. / AFP PHOTO / KENA BETANCUR
Bill Cosby was found guilty of sexually assaulting Judy Huth, by a civil jury after a two week trial.
Huth had accused Cosby of assaulting her while she was a teenager at the Playboy Mansion.
According to The New York Times and the Associated Press, the jury started deliberations on Thursday and the verdict was read in a Santa Monica, California, courtroom on Tuesday.
Cosby’s legal team was present on Tuesday, but the former actor was not present in court when the verdict was announced. Huth received a $500,000 damage award.
Huth, alleged that when she was 16 years old, Cosby sexually assaulted her in a bedroom at the Playboy Mansion, Hugh Hefner’s renowned Holmby Hills residence.
In 2014, Huth launched a legal complaint in an effort to recover compensation for emotional damages.
Huth said in the lawsuit that she and a 17-year-old companion first encountered the comedian in 1975 while watching a movie being shot in a San Marino park in Los Angeles. According to her, Cosby approached them and invited them to sit with him.
The following Saturday, he allegedly invited themto meet him at his tennis club where hehe allegedly “served them alcoholic beverages” while they played billiards. Huth claims that she had to drink everytime Cosby won.
According to a civil lawsuit Huth filed against Cosby, after the girls allegedly had numerous alcoholic drinks, Cosby allegedly told them he had a “surprise” for them and took them to the Playboy Mansion. She claimed that Cosby instructed them to say they were 19 if questioned.
According to the lawsuit, Huth escorted Cosby to a bathroom in a bedroom suite after she informed him that she wanted to use the restroom. Cosby was seated on the bed when she returned. The lawsuit said that after asking her to sit down, he began to sexually assault her without getting her permission.
For a criminal case, the statute of limitations has already passed, but under California law, victims of alleged teenage sexual assault are still eligible to file civil cases decades after the claimed acts.
Cosby was released from prison last June following the reversal of his conviction in the Andrea Constand case. His conviction was the first guilty verdict for sexual assault against a celebrity since the advent of the worldwide reckoning against sexual violence and abuse of power dubbed the #MeToo movement.
Constand claims that Cosby, whom she regarded as a mentor, drugged and sexually abused her in his Elkins Park, Pennsylvania, home in 2004 while she was a team administrator for the Temple University women’s basketball team.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court had ruled that the use of Cosby’s deposition testimony, in which Cosby admitted to giving quaaludes to women he wanted to have sex with, against him violated his Fifth Amendment rights because the prosecutor had agreed not to file charges against him in exchange for taking the deposition.
Cosby served more than two years of a three-to-ten-year sentence for aggravated indecent assault and always maintained his innocence.
Although more than 60 women charged that they had been victims of sexual assault by Cosby, he was tried criminally only for Constand’s assault, since the statute of limitations had expired in the other cases.
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