Bill Cosby found guilty of sexually assaulting teenage girl at Playboy Mansion

Bill Cosby was found guilty in a civil trial for sexually abusing a 16-year-old girl at the Playboy Mansion in 1975.

On Tuesday, a jury in a Santa Monica civil case found that Bill Cosby raped a teenage girl at the Playboy Mansion in 1975 and awarded her $500,000 (A$720,000).

The jury’s decision in favor of Judy Huth was read at around 3:30 p.m. local time after jurors deadlocked earlier in the day. New York Post reports.

Ms Huth, now 64, accused Cosby of forcing her to have sex with him at the mansion when she was only 16.

The reviled former icon once known as “America’s Dad” did not testify or appear in Los Angeles District Court during the trial, but denied sexual contact with Ms. Huth in a 2015 affidavit that was played out for the jury.

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Cosby spokesman Andrew Wyatt made the announcement. New York Post that the comedian plans to appeal the $500,000 (AU$720,000) court ruling.

“Mr. Cosby continues to maintain his innocence and will vigorously fight these false accusations so that he can return to his quest to bring happiness, joy and laughter to the world,” Mr. Wyatt said in a statement.

The trial appeared to wrap up on Friday, with jurors answering eight of the nine questions they were asked.

But the judge had previously agreed to fire one of the jurors by June 17, so discussion began with a replacement on Monday.

The ruling concludes an often bizarre lawsuit that included 10 days of testimony, a heated barrage between Ms. Hoot’s and Cosby’s lawyers, and an unsuccessful attempt by the actor’s legal team to declare a mistrial.

Former star Mr. The Cosby Show has been accused by several women of drug use and sexual assault, but Ms Hut’s case is the first civil trial based on the allegations.

Cosby was convicted in a Pennsylvania criminal court for assaulting Andrea Constand, but he was released from prison last year when the state’s highest court ruled that a deal with prosecutors meant he never had to face a criminal court.

Ms. Huth alleged in the lawsuit that Cosby forced her into the bedroom at the Playboy mansion, where he kissed her, put his hands in her pants, and then used her hand for intercourse.

The testimony of Ms. Hut and the witness states that the attack took place near a games room where the witness was playing an arcade game. Donkey Kong.

Cosby’s lawyer seized on this, noting that Donkey Kong did not come out until 1981, six years after the alleged attack, but Ms Huth’s legal team countered that the deposition described “games like Donkey Kong” and did not specifically mean the game itself.

In the dispute, Cosby’s attorney, Jennifer Bonjean, and Ms. Hoot’s attorney, Nathan Goldberg, fired shots in the courtroom.

Ms. Bonjean also requested a mistrial after a photo was taken of the juror standing next to Cosby’s other accuser, Los Angeles-based artist Lily Bernard.

But Judge Craig Karlan said there was no evidence the jurors discussed the case with anyone.

The jury and Bernard, who is suing Cosby in New Jersey, also denied any contact.

“I would never do anything to jeopardize this case,” Bernard told a judge in a Santa Monica courtroom. “I don’t even look at them.

During the closing debate, Bonjean urged the jury to focus only on the evidence in the case amid the highly publicized allegations against Cosby.

“Do you have any idea how difficult it is to defend a case when you start with the label of a sexual predator?” said Mrs Bonjean.

Mr. Goldberg said Cosby deserved the responsibility.

“Each of you knows deep down that Mr. Cosby raped Miss Hoot,” he said.

– With wires

This article originally appeared in New York Post and reproduced with permission

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