A Santa Monica jury sided with a Riverside County woman this week, finding that comedian Bill Cosby sexually abused her when she was a teenager at the Playboy Mansion in the 1970s, awarding her $500,000 in damages.
Attorneys for Judy Huth, 64, of Canyon Lake, said Cosby fondled her and forced her to perform a sex act on him while visiting the mansion in 1975, when she was just 16 years old. Cosby’s attorneys, meanwhile, denied any wrongdoing and pointed to inconsistencies in Huth’s story, including a recent change in the year she claimed the attack happened.
The eight-woman, four-man jury awarded Huth the $500,000 damages for emotional distress. However, the panel did not find that the comedian was liable for any punitive damages, which could have sent the total amount soaring.
The jury deliberated for roughly four days, announcing late on June 17 they had reached a partial verdict on all but one issue–relating to the issue of punitive damages against Cosby. But before Superior Court Judge Craig Karlan could even read a partial verdict in the trial, he instead had to dismiss the jury for the weekend because of a hard closure time for the Santa Monica Courthouse.
As a result, the jury had to come back Monday and begin its deliberations anew with one alternate member, because Karlan had earlier agreed to allow one juror to be dismissed after Friday due to a prior commitment.
With the alternate juror in place, the jury began deliberating again, failing to reach a verdict on Monday, then hearing brief arguments from attorneys Tuesday morning on legal issues apparently relating to the same problematic question regarding the issue of punitive damages.
On Tuesday afternoon, the jury indicated it was having trouble reaching a verdict on the punitive damages question, but after being sent back for further discussions, it announced a short time later that it had reached a decision.