Almost a year to the day Bill Cosby was released from federal prison on a technicality, the serial sexual predator is now back in court for another alleged sexual assault—this time, of a teenage girl.
Today, jury selection began at Los Angeles Superior Court for a civil suit brought down against the disgraced actor and comedian. Judy Huth alleges she was groped by Cosby when she was a teenager after he brought her and a friend to the Playboy mansion in the mid-1970's.
In a complaint Huth filed in December 2014, she says she was just 15 when she and a friend, who was 16, first met Cosby while he was in Los Angeles filming a movie. According to the complaint, Cosby asked the girls how old they were during that meeting. Days later, he invited them to his tennis club where he gave them alcohol and later, to the Playboy mansion—a place he frequented for decades. Cosby allegedly instructed them to say they were 19, should anyone ask. After arriving at the mansion, Huth claims Cosby sexually assaulted her, “putting his hand down her pants, and then taking her hand in his hand and performing a sex act on himself without consent.” Cosby’s attorneys have denied the allegations.
There’s been some confusion as to the exact year Huth claims the assault took place. In initial filings, she recollected that it happened in 1974, but in more recent court papers, she concluded that the alleged assault actually occurred in 1975, when she was 16 and he was 37. Naturally, Cosby’s legal team is attempting to capitalize on the correction, calling attention to Huth’s “inconsistencies” and denying that she was underage.
“It’s not fair,” his lawyer Jennifer Bonjean, who’s also representing R. Kelly in his child pornography trial, recently said. “It’s called trial by ambush.”
His spokesperson, Andrew Wyatt, has added: “We feel confident that the Playboy records along with Ms. Huth changing her timeline of events from 1974 to 1975 in the 11th hour will vindicate Mr. Cosby.”
“America’s Dad” has been accused by 60 other women of sexual assault, with many of them unable to take legal action against Cosby given that the statute of limitations has passed in several states where the alleged assaults took place.
Since Cosby’s 2018 criminal conviction, Huth’s is the first of a number of unheard civil cases filed against him to actually go to trial. There’s another pending in New Jersey right now, wherein a former Cosby Show actress alleged he drugged and raped her in Atlantic City in 1990. However, Huth’s is reportedly the only lawsuit that accuses him of sexually abusing a child.
Due to health reasons, Cosby will not appear in court when the trial begins, nor will he be called to testify. Instead, a pre-recorded deposition will be shown during the proceedings. Opening arguments are scheduled for June 1. The trial is expected to last two weeks.