Bill Cosby Sexually Assaulted a Teen at Playboy Mansion, Civil Jury Finds

The jury awarded Judy Huth, who was 16 when Cosby assaulted her in 1975, $500,000.
Bill Cosby departs the Montgomery County Courthouse on the first day of sentencing in his sexual assault trial on September 24, 2018 in Norristown, Pennsylvania. (Mark Makela/Getty Images)
Bill Cosby departs the Montgomery County Courthouse on the first day of sentencing in his sexual assault trial on September 24, 2018 in Norristown, Pennsylvania. (Mark Makela/Getty Images)

More than a year after Bill Cosby was released from prison on a technicality, a California jury found in a civil case that the once-beloved comedian sexually assaulted a teenage girl at the Playboy Mansion in the 1970s.

The jury awarded Judy Huth $500,000 as part of its decision, but she did not receive any punitive damages.

Huth had first sued Cosby, who has been accused of sexual assault by dozens of women, in 2014. In the years since, Cosby was convicted in a sexual assault case and sent to prison in Pennsylvania, before being released last summer on due process grounds. Huth’s case was one of the last active legal proceedings against the disgraced comedian once heralded as “America’s dad.”

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Cosby has denied all allegations of sexual misconduct and did not attend the trial. After the verdict, Cosby’s spokesperson told reporters that Cosby is happy with the trial’s outcome, CNN reported

“What happened today wasn’t a victory, because they didn’t get the punitive damages,” spokesperson Andrew Wyatt said.

Cosby is expected to appeal. “Mr. Cosby continues to maintain his innocence and will vigorously fight these false accusations, so that he can get back to bringing the pursuit of happiness, joy, and laughter to the world,” his spokesperson said in a statement, according to Variety.

Huth has said that she met Cosby at a park and later went to the Playboy Mansion with him. There, she said, he isolated her and forced her to use her hand to perform a sex act on him. Huth originally said that this encounter occurred around 1974, when she was 15, but she later amended her account and said it occurred when she was 16, in 1975. The switch occurred, her legal team said, after further research.

“I feel good, I feel vindicated,” Huth said after the verdict was announced, the New York Times reported.

Huth’s case was the first civil lawsuit against Cosby to reach a trial. Several other civil lawsuits against Cosby were settled; Wyatt said those settlements were reached by Cosby’s insurer against his will.

In a statement, RAINN, the nation’s preeminent anti-sexual assault organization, praised the verdict.

“Once again, a jury has found that Bill Cosby committed sexual assault,” Erinn Robinson, RAINN’s director of media relations, said. “Ms. Huth’s courageous testimony helped the jury reach this decision, and we commend her for her bravery. Today’s verdict shows survivors that perpetrators, even powerful ones, can be held accountable.”

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