The jury within the Bill Cosby sex assault trial is predicted to start deliberations on Thursday after being presented starkly different accounts on Wednesday of what had happened to a 16-year-old girl on the Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles some 47 years ago.
In his closing argument, Nathan Goldberg, a lawyer for Judy Huth, who brought the suit, told the 12-person jury that Mr. Cosby had schemed to isolate and make the most of the teenager, and that she had paid a painful price over a lifetime of hysteria and depression. That anxiety intensified, she has said, across the time many other women were coming forward with accusations against Mr. Cosby in 2014, and diminished in 2018 when he was found guilty in a criminal case in Pennsylvania.
“His behavior involved planning and intent to get her to a vulnerable location,” he told the jury impaneled to determine the civil case in Santa Monica, Calif. “In case you consider she was molested by Mr. Cosby, he must be held fully accountable. 4 years of misery, what’s that value to an individual?”
Mr. Goldberg said the jury should consider fastidiously the testimony of Donna Samuelson, a friend on the time who had accompanied Ms. Huth to the mansion and corroborated Ms. Huth’s testimony. He also pointed to the testimony of two other women whom Ms. Huth’s team had produced as witnesses and who described encounters with Mr. Cosby in 1975, the yr Ms. Huth said she met him.
Mr. Goldberg said that Mr. Cosby’s defense amounted to implying that every one 4 women were “in on it” and lying.
The Sexual Assault Cases Against Bill Cosby
After Bill Cosby’s 2018 criminal conviction for sexual assault was overturned, the primary civil case accusing him of sexual misconduct has reached trial.
But of their closing statement, Mr. Cosby’s lawyers said that, removed from being a victim, Ms. Huth was an unreliable witness — one who had blatantly made up an account of assault and coordinated her story together with her friend, Ms. Samuelson, before coming forward to file the lawsuit in 2014.
“I don’t think you’ll be able to consider anything Ms. Huth says, frankly,” said Jennifer Bonjean, a lawyer for Mr. Cosby.
She said that Ms. Huth couldn’t display that there had been sexual contact, and her lawyers had not met the burden of proof to indicate that the distress she reported suffering later in life was brought on by any encounter with Mr. Cosby.
Mr. Cosby has denied having any sexual contact with Ms. Huth. His lawyer said that it could have been acceptable if Mr. Cosby had been drawn to her because, she said, the 2 friends had looked like adult women.
“She cannot display that there was causation between this incident and the alleged trauma 40 years later,” Ms. Bonjean said.
“I’m not going to credit her simply because we live in a time where, if she says it, it have to be true,” she added. “There’s no evidence.”
Ms. Huth, now 64, and Ms. Samuelson have said they were invited by Mr. Cosby, now 84, to affix him on the mansion several days after meeting him on a movie set that they’d come upon in a park not removed from their homes.
Ms. Huth said Mr. Cosby invited them to his tennis club, then gave them alcohol at a house where he was staying. She said he then asked them to follow him of their automotive to the mansion, where, in an isolated bedroom, he tried to place his hand down her pants after which forced her to perform a sex act on him.
When it begins its deliberations, the jury might be asked to determine its verdict based on a preponderance of the evidence. Only nine of the 12 can have to agree on a finding to succeed in a verdict, unlike the unanimity required in a criminal case.
In an effort to focus on inconsistencies within the testimony against their client, Mr. Cosby’s lawyers emphasized, as they’d earlier within the trial, that an arcade game, “Donkey Kong,” Ms Samuelson said she had played on the mansion was not released until several years later. Ms. Samuelson said she simply got the name flawed.
In his closing remarks, Mr. Goldberg said, “This isn’t a game.
“We have now a client,” he continued, “who was sexually molested by Bill Cosby on the Playboy Mansion in 1975. Now it’s your turn to carry him accountable. Justice doesn’t understand how much time has passed. It knows what is true and flawed.”