The verdict was handed down in Huth’s favor, which her lawyer, Gloria Allred, hailed as a victory towards “real change”, although no criminal damages were awarded.
Huth, now 64, accused Cosby lured her and a friend to the villa a few days after meeting them in the park. She stated that Cosby took her to the bedroom alone, took off her tracksuit, then grabbed her arm and masturbated with it, forcing her to have sex.
“I was thrilled,” Huth said in front of the courthouse, reacting to the verdict and telling reporters she was grateful to the jury. “So many years have passed, so many tears, it will only take a long time.”
Allred praised Huth, speaking to reporters in front of the courthouse in Santa Monica, California, on Tuesday afternoon. “The late United States Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg once said, ‘Real change, lasting change happens step by step,'” Allred said. “Today, our client got a real change because she fought Bill Cosby step by step for more than seven and a half years. She proved by a jury verdict that Mr. Cosby sexually assaulted her when she was a minor, and that he should be arrested and held accountable for what he did to her. “
Allred noted that this case is the first to go on trial under the Child Victims Act, which protects adults who have survived child sexual abuse to come forward and hold their abuser accountable years later. “She or he may come forward years later, and she will be entitled to it,” said the lawyer and women’s rights activist out of court.
Cosby’s team seemed pleased with the outcome. When the verdict was read without penalty, Cosby’s spokesman, Andrew Wyatt, smiled in the gallery, and his lawyers rejoiced as they left the courtroom.
In a press statement after the verdict, Cosby’s spokesman said in part: “We have always claimed that Judy Huth, Gloria Allred and their colleagues fabricated these false accusations to force Mr. Cosby to fund their racist mission against successful and successful blacks in America. . ” The statement continues: “Mr. Cosby continues to maintain his innocence and will vigorously fight these false accusations so that he can return to the search for happiness, joy and laughter in the world. ”
The jury found that Cosby intended to cause harmful or abusive contact with Huth and resulted in “sexually abusive contact,” while it also found that Hugh was “hurt” by Cosby’s behavior. The jury concluded that any “normal person, without hesitation” would be “upset, irritated, offended or hurt” by Cosby’s behavior. Nine jurors voted to agree that Cosby’s behavior was motivated by “unnatural or abnormal sexual interest in a minor,” while three jurors disagreed.
The trial focused on the testimony of Huth and her friend Donna Samuelson, as well as two other women who claimed that Cosby also sexually assaulted them in 1975.
The verdict was handed down after nearly three days of deliberation, and the jury had to restart the deliberation from scratch when the juror ruled out the case, due to a conflict in the schedule. The jury asked questions on several occasions and got stuck about whether the case had risen to the level of criminal compensation. In the midst of the process, Huth’s team proposed a partial verdict, while Cosby’s team sought the annulment of the trial – their third separate request for annulment, which was rejected by Judge Craig Karlan.
Last Friday, the jury nearly reached a verdict, but had to start again with its deliberations on Monday morning, when foreperson is exempt from the case and replaced by a replacement. The presenter said on Friday that the jurors reached an agreement on eight of the nine issues they were asked to decide. Judge Carlan initially said he would pass a partial verdict on Friday afternoon, but changed his mind when the sheriff’s deputy informed him that the court building would be closed in a few minutes. On Monday, Judge Carlan informed both sides that he had given much thought to his decision and ordered the jury to “ignore” their previous week’s deliberations and to start over, saying: “I believe in our jury system … I don’t feel right to I am in a hurry with the verdict in such an important case. “
The jury had trouble reaching an agreement on the issue on a special verdict form, asking whether Cosby had acted with “malice, oppression or fraud”, which would have resulted in criminal damages. (They eventually voted 9-3 that Cosby’s behavior did not rise to the level of awarding punitive damages, and 9-3 that the compensation awarded to Huth should be $ 500,000.)
“It is not always easy to achieve a fair outcome,” Judge Carlan told the jury on Tuesday afternoon, about an hour before they finally reached a verdict. The jury expressed in court that they were divided over one specific issue. “If you can handle that, that would be great. If you can’t, you can’t, “the judge explained to the jury. “If you are hopelessly and helplessly at a dead end, you are.”
In a statement to the media, Cosby’s spokesman suggested he was dissatisfied with the judge’s decision to ask the jury to resume deliberations, saying the jury had sent a note earlier that day explaining they were “seemingly at a dead end” and wanted to “return the verdict by consensus”. ”On one issue related to criminal damages. “This is the most incredible news because Ms. Huth could not prove with clear and convincing evidence that Mr. Cosby participated in behavior with malice, oppression or deception. “
Earlier on Tuesday morning, a judge forced both sides to re-argue one point of confusion for the jury. It is very unusual for discussions to continue during the deliberations. In their last attempt to kill the jury on Tuesday, Huth and Cosby’s lawyers had obvious differences in perspective.
“She did not ask for it. She didn’t want that, “said Huth’s lawyer, Nathan Goldberg, who told the jury that Cosby” lured “Huth to the Playboy Mansion by” careful planning, “saying he was clearly malicious. “Imagine taking a minor to the Playboy Mansion. She shouldn’t even be there, “Goldberg said. “Taking out his penis … it’s malicious. “People shouldn’t do that in our society.”
Cosby’s lawyer, Jennifer Bonjean, urged the jury to focus only on what Cosby may have done to Huthu, and does not take into account outside opinions or accusations. “You can’t say it’s him, he’s a bad guy,” the lawyer said, noting that while she’s not trying to “minimize the jury’s beliefs,” there must be a “range of convictions.” Bonjean said that in this particular case, there was no “drugging” and “no penetration”, so “there is no malice”.
“We have to say that some things are worse than others,” Bonjean said. “We have to have continuity … if not, we’re just dealing with mafia justice.”
Bonjean also asked questions about the timeline and told the jury that the usual topic of Huth’s testimony was that she was “angry” but not “upset” to the extent that it affected her daily life. “Forty years later, she’s starting to get in trouble?” Bonjean said. “It shouldn’t take you 40 years to realize that something like this is a conviction,” says the prosecutor.
Earlier in the trial, Huth testified that she and her friend felt like they were on an “adventure” when Cosby invited them to the mansion. But she was frightened when Cosby made her sit next to him on the bed. She said he tried to kiss her and tried to put his hands down her pants. She resisted, telling him she was menstruating. At that point, she said Cosby stood up and held her hand to his cock until he ejaculated.
“That wasn’t what I wanted at all.” she told the jury. “I was crazy.”
Cosby, 84, exercised his right under the Fifth Amendment not to testify and did not attend this trial. Instead, jurors saw clips from his testimony recorded on video, in which he said he would never prosecute a minor for sex. Jurors also saw excerpts from Hugh Hefner’s testimony, taken before his death in 2017.
Huth filed a lawsuit in December 2014 as many other women filed charges against Cosby. The lawsuit was adjourned for several years while Cosby faced two criminal trials for sexual assault in Pennsylvania. Cosby’s criminal conviction was overturned last year, and he was released after serving nearly three years in state prison.
Gene Maddaus contributed to this report.