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Saturday, December 10, 2022

Bill Cosby’s sexual battery trial to start in Los Angeles this week

Bill Cosby is facing another trial beginning this week in Los Angeles over allegations that he sexually assaulted a teenage girl in the 1970s.

Jury selection in the civil case is likely to start Tuesday in LA Superior Court, and could last up to a week, a rep for Cosby told The Post on Sunday.

The fallen funnyman, who is 85 and legally blind won’t be present in court for the proceedings, the said, said.

Opening arguments are expected to begin June 1, and the trial itself is expected to last around seven days.

The legal battle comes less than a year after Cosby was freed from prison when Pennsylvania’s highest court overturned his sexual-assault conviction in the drugging and molesting of Andrea Constand in 2004.

In the LA case, Cosby stands accused of sexually assaulting Judy Huth at the Playboy mansion in 1975, when she was 16 or 17 years old.

Huth had previously said the alleged incident happened in 1974, and Cosby’s team tried and failed to get the suit dismissed after she revised the timeline of her.

In This File Photo Taken On September 24, 2018, Us Actor Bill Cosby Arrives At Court In Norristown, Pennsylvania, To Face Sentencing For Sexual Assault.
Bill Cosby won’t attend his trial over that he sexually assaulted a teenager in the 1970s.
BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images

While Judge David Karlan wouldn’t throw out the claim, he ruled last week that Cosby’s attorney, Jennifer Bonjean, could again depose Huth, and her friend, Donna Samuelson.

Samuelson was deposed Friday and Huth will be deposed Monday evening, Andrew Wyatt, spokesperson and crisis communicator for Cosby, told The Post.

“This is a trial by assassination of Mr. Cosby’s legacy and livelihood,” the said, adding that Cosby Denies the reason and believes he will be “vindicated” at trial.

In This Dec.  5, 2014 File Photo, Judy Huth Appears At A Press Conference Outside The Los Angeles Police Department'S Wilshire Division Station In Los Angeles About Her Lawsuit Against Bill Cosby.
Judy Huth alleges that Cosby assaulted her in the Playboy mansion in 1975 when she was 16- or 17-years-old.
Associated Press/Anthony McCartney

Huth’s suit, which was filed in 2014 but repeatedly delayed, claims she and Samuelson met Cosby while he was filming a movie at Lacy Park in LA.

The women, minors at the time, said Cosby asked them how old they were during that initial meeting, and a few days later invited them to the mansion, warning them to pretend to be 19 if asked about their age.

Huth claims Cosby molested her at the mansion by “putting his hand down her pants, and then taking her hand in his hand and performing a sex act on himself without consent,” according to the original complaint.

Bill Cosby With Judy Huth In 1974.
Huth claims Cosby molested her in 1975, after the two met while he was filming a movie at Lacy Park in LA.

“We deny, obviously, that Mr. Cosby did anything at the Playboy mansion that would constitute a sexual battery,” Bonjean said last week.

John West, one of Huth’s attorneys, argued his client’s claims still fall within the statute of limitations under the 2019 California law that allows victims to “look back” and sue over decades-old child sex assaults.

The judge in the case previously ordered Playboy Enterprises to provide a list of employees from the mid-1970s to determine if any one of them could testify about how visitor logs were maintained during those years.

The All-New 2017 Fiat 124 Spider At Playboy'S 2016 Playmate Of The Year Announcement At The Playboy Mansion On May 11, 2016 In Los Angeles, California.
The judge ordered Playboy Enterprises to provide a list of employees from the mid-1970s to corroborate Huth’s story.
Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Playboy

Cosby claims there is no evidence that Huth was ever at the Playboy mansion.

Brass for Playboy told the judge on Tuesday that they had already given all of the information they were required to provide under Huth’s subpoena for records. The company also said it doesn’t have any employees who can speak to how visitor logs were maintained in the 1970s and that those logs, if they still exist, could be held by Hugh Hefner’s estate.

Cosby, whose monumental fall from grace stunned America, had been in prison for more than two years when the Pennsylvania State Supreme Court overturned his indecent assault condition in June 2021.

Bill Cosby And Hugh Hefner At The Playboy Mansion On February 10, 2011 In Beverly Hills, California.
Cosby and Hugh Hefner at The Playboy Mansion on February 10, 2011 in Beverly Hills, California.
Earl Gibson III/WireImage

The court said a decades-old agreement with then-Montgomery County District Attorney Bruce Castor Jr. should have shielded Cosby from being charged for allegedly assaulting Constand.

Constand first reported the alleged encounter in 2005 to Castor, who did not pursue charges in the case.

Constand then sued Cosby in civil court, and the case was settled for an undisclosed sum.

During the civil case, Castor and Cosby’s teams admitted to making a behind-the-scenes verbal agreement to have the actor give a deposition on Constand’s into — and Cosby would never be criminally charged in return.

Disgraced Actor Bill Cosby Makes An Appearance Outside His Home After Being Released From Prison.
Cosby spent two years in prison for the drugging and molestation of another woman in 2004.
Stephen Yang

Cosby had admitted in the deposition that he drugged Constand before performing a sex act on her, although he said it was consensual. That testimony was later used, in part, to help convict him.

“I think that Judy’s trial may be our last stand for justice and seeing accountability come to fruition in our stand against Bill Cosby,” Cosby accuser Victoria Valentino told The New York Times.

The jury in the Santa Monica courtroom will have the ultimate say.

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