Bill Cosby’s 50-year-old sexual assault civil case headed to trial

Bill Cosby's 50-year-old sexual assault civil case headed to trial
Bill Cosby (Photo by A.R. Shaw for rolling out)

A woman who claims that fallen funnyman Bill Cosby groped her nearly 50 years ago will finally see her civil lawsuit go to trial next week.

Judy Huth, 64, who said she was at the Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles 48 years ago, has sued Cosby, 84, for sexual battery. Huth originally filed the lawsuit in 2014, alleging she was groped by the former TV titan in 1974 when she was only 15-years-old.

Huth said she was emboldened to finally come forward after Cosby was accused of drugging and raping dozens of women in encounters that date back to the 1960s. Cosby spent nearly three years in a Pennsylvania prison after being convicted in April 2018 of drugging and raping former Temple University employee Andrea Constand in 2004. Cosby was sentenced to three to 10 years in September 2018. The conviction was later vacated by the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania in June 2021 due to violations of Cosby’s constitutional rights.

One of Cosby’s attorneys, Jennifer Bonjean, questions the validity of the Huth’s story and recollection. 

“We were surprised last week when we learned that the Plaintiff in the case had altered, changed her narrative. It changed in dramatic ways from what she has alleged for the last 20 years. … Now she is saying, ‘Well, I was 16– one month before my 17th birthday,'” Bonjean said, according to the New York Post. 

“This is a fundamental change because … it is extraordinarily difficult to defend against an allegation from 50 years ago. Nobody could do it. … It’s called trial by ambush and courts frown upon it … And this judge, thankfully, recognizes that there was prejudice against Mr.Cosby and he is allowing us the opportunity to depose the Plaintiff and her friend to engage in the discovery we have been denied.”

John West, one of Judy Huth’s attorneys, counters that the alleged episode does fall within the statute of limitations. He explained that a 2019 California law enables victims to “look back” at decades-old child sexual assault incidents and file civil complaints.

“The problem with Ms. Bonjean’s argument is that statute of limitations are extended all the time. Ms.Huth’s claim is timely and Ms. Bonjean’s is arguing based on an old version of the law.”

Below is a clip of the documentary on the toppling of Bill Cosby’s transcendent legacy.

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