Entertainment

A look at Bill Cosby’s sexual assault civil trial

LOS ANGELESEleven months after he was once free of jail when a Pennsylvania appeals courtroom threw out his felony conviction, Bill Cosby, 85, will once more be the defendant in an ordeal over sexual attack allegations. This time, it’ll be in a civil case in California in the case of occasions in mid-Nineteen Seventies Los Angeles. A jury within the coastal town of Santa Monica, California, has been selected and opening statements start Wednesday within the case this is anticipated to ultimate two weeks.

Here’s a have a look at the important thing parts of the case:

THE CASE AGAINST COSBY

Judy Huth, now 64, says when she was once 16 years previous in 1975, she and a chum met Cosby at a Los Angeles-area park, the place he was once filming the film “Let’s Do It Again” with Sidney Poitier. A couple of days later, Huth’s lawsuit says, Cosby had her drink alcohol “as part of a game,” then took her to the Playboy Mansion. There, consistent with the criticism, he took her into an remoted bed room, kissed her at the mouth, slid his hand down her pants, and used her hand to accomplish a intercourse act on him. Huth filed a lawsuit in opposition to Cosby in 2014, searching for monetary damages to be made up our minds at trial.

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Huth additionally filed a police record, however no felony fees had been introduced. The case has taken 8 years yet to come to trial as a result of delays over Cosby’s two felony trials and the pandemic. Key witnesses on the trial will come with Huth and her buddy from the time.

THE CASE FOR COSBY

Cosby’s lawyers have conceded that he met Huth and took her to the Playboy Mansion. An undated photograph of the 2 of them there displays as a lot. But they completely deny that any attack came about. And they are saying that Huth was once in reality 18 when the mansion consult with passed off, which might make any violation considerably much less critical underneath California regulation. Cosby’s lawyers have now not mentioned what proof they are going to use to reveal this, and emphasize the load is at the plaintiffs to end up when the consult with took place.

WHY THE TRIAL MATTERS

This case has taken on renewed importance as one of the crucial few last prison movements in opposition to Cosby after Pennsylvania’s easiest courtroom threw out his felony sexual attack conviction ultimate June and launched him from jail, and after many different proceedings have been settled in opposition to his will by means of his insurer.

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WILL COSBY ATTEND OR TESTIFY?

Cosby, who sat thru two lengthy felony trials, isn’t required to wait this one, and has no plans to turn up. His representatives say it’s as a result of his glaucoma has left him blind. Jurors mentioned throughout the choice procedure that they wouldn’t let Cosby’s absence have an effect on their judgment, which the courtroom calls for. Still, lawyers generally love to have their purchasers provide, each to offer their aspect a human face and to turn the customer cares and takes the court cases significantly.

He would possibly not seem at the witness stand both. Cosby did give one video deposition within the case, however the pass judgement on dominated that he didn’t have to offer a 2nd, extra wide-ranging deposition, nor will he be pressured to testify in individual. The pass judgement on discovered that Cosby can invoke his Fifth Amendment privilege in opposition to self-incrimination as a result of there’s a possibility he may nonetheless be prosecuted in California and different jurisdictions for sexual attack.

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THE CASE’S COLDNESS

The greatest problem, for all sides, will probably be in presenting proof and testimony to a jury according to occasions from just about 50 years in the past. Many Playboy Mansion guests and others who can have testified are useless, together with Playboy Magazine founder and previous mansion proprietor Hugh Hefner, even though he did give a deposition prior to his 2017 dying. An lawyer for Playboy Enterprises says they are able to’t to find customer logs from the mansion for the time in query. Distant recollections must be tied to scraps of images, information articles and different archives to refresh reminiscences.

A KEY CHANGE

The issues of the case’s age have been illustrated by means of a significant exchange Huth made to her tale simply weeks prior to trial, after proof exposed by means of her lawyers led them to consider she met Cosby at the film set in 1975, when she was once 16, now not in overdue 1973 or early 1974, when she was once 15. Among the issues they used to succeed in the belief: a dated photograph of Cosby with the beard Huth recollects him having. Cosby lawyer Jennifer Bonjean referred to as the overdue exchange an “ambush” that would make presenting a defense more difficult, but the judge declined to dismiss the case or delay the trial. He did allow a final last-minute deposition of Huth.

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THE LAWYERS

Huth counts among her attorneys Gloria Allred, who has become nationally famous for representing women in high-profile cases like this one. But she is not expected to take an active role in the trial, ceding the presentation of evidence to two colleagues from her firm, Nathan Goldberg and David West. Cosby will be primarily represented by Bonjean. The mother of four has made a national name for herself in recent years through her aggressive representation of Cosby and R. Kelly. She has defended both as vigorously on Twitter as she does in court, though her account was deleted recently.

THE JURY

A jury of eight women and four men was selected last week. The group skews young for a jury — one member is just 19. This could break either way for Cosby. While many said during questioning that they did not grow up with his TV shows or stand-up comedy, and did not have special reverence for him, many of the same people said they also have paid little attention to the criminal trial or allegations against him.

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REACHING A VERDICT

The plaintiffs will have a lower bar to cross than Cosby’s criminal prosecutors did. Jurors will have to decide whether Cosby committed the actions not beyond a reasonable doubt, but through a preponderance of the evidence. And unlike criminal cases, which require a unanimous jury, agreement among nine out of 12 will be enough.

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The Associated Press does not typically identify people who say they have been sexually abused, but may when the person comes forward publicly, as Huth has.

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Follow AP Entertainment Writer Andrew Dalton on Twitter: https://twitter.com/andyjamesdalton

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.




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