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A jury has ruled that Bill Cosby sexually assaulted a 16-year-old girl at the Playboy Mansion in the mid-1970s after inviting the teen and her friend to the iconic party spot.
In a decision handed down Tuesday inside a Los Angeles County courtroom, a civil jury awarded Judy Huth, now 64 years old, $500,000 in compensatory damages for the sexual assault, which occurred in 1975, according to The New York Times.
They did not award any punitive damages in the case.
“I feel good, I feel vindicated,” Huth said Tuesday after the verdict was read.
A spokesperson for Cosby, who did not attend or testify during the trial, has said the famed comedian once known as "America’s dad" plans to appeal the decision.
The verdict comes less than a year after Cosby was released from prison following the decision by a Pennsylvania Supreme Court to throw out his 2018 conviction for sexual assault in a separate case.
Huth testified that she was forced to perform oral sex on Cosby in a bedroom in the Playboy Mansion. Huth and her high school friend, Donna Samuelson, met Cosby at a San Marino, California park days earlier while he was filming the movie “Let’s Do It Again.”
A few days after meeting the two, Cosby invited the teens to his tennis club. Huth testified that, after the club, they went to a home at which Cosby was staying at the time, where he gave them alcohol and then suggested they go to the Playboy Mansion.
Although she was just 16 years old, Huth testified they were given instructions to tell anyone who asked that they were 19.
Once inside the mansion, Huth testified that they spent time in a game room — where Samuelson captured a photo of Huth and Cosby together — before she found herself alone in an adjacent bedroom with the television star, according to The Associated Press.
It was there she said Cosby tried to put his hands down her pants. When she told him she was on her period, she testified that he forced her to perform oral sex on him instead, an assertion that Cosby has denied, The Los Angeles Times reports.
Although he never took the stand during the trial, jurors were shown snippets of a 2015 deposition where Cosby denied the sexual assault claims.
As the jury deliberated over several days, one juror was dismissed and was replaced by an alternate juror before they reached their final decision Tuesday.
The jury found that Cosby intentionally caused harmful sexual contact with Huth.
They also found that the comedian had likely known that Huth was under the age of 18 at the time and that he had been driven by unnatural or abnormal sexual interest in a minor, according to the AP.
Gloria Allred, one of Huth’s attorneys, said in a statement to Oxygen.com that she was pleased with the jury’s decision and commended Huth for her "courage and many sacrifices" it took to "win justice in this case."
“Today our client, Judy Huth, won real change because she fought Bill Cosby one step at a time over seven and a half years, and she proved with the jury’s verdict that Mr. Cosby did sexually assault her when she was a minor, and that he should be held accountable for what he did to her,” Allred said.
Huth described the seven-year legal battle as “torture” and said, even though no punitive damages were awarded, she saw the lawsuit as a success.
“This, to me, is such a victory,” she said, according to The Associated Press.
Cosby’s attorney Jennifer Bonjean told The New York Times that the jury’s decision not to award punitive damages was “a significant win” for Cosby, now 84, and provided “some relief.”
Cosby’s spokesperson, Andrew Wyatt, has said Cosby will nonetheless appeal.
“Mr. Cosby continues to maintain his innocence,” he said in a statement to the news outlet “and will vigorously fight these false accusations, so that he can get back to bringing the pursuit of happiness, joy and laughter to the world.”
Cosby was convicted in 2018 of three counts of indecent aggravated assault against Andrea Constand, a former employee at Temple University, who accused the actor of drugging and sexually assaulting her. His conviction was overturned last year when the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that a non-prosecution agreement made by a previous prosecutor in exchange for Cosby’s testimony in a civil deposition should have prevented the charges from ever being filed.
He is also facing another civil cased filed by Lili Bernard, an actor and visual artist, who has accused Cosby assaulting her in an Atlantic City hotel room in 1990. Cosby has denied Bernard’s accusations and the suit continues to wend its way through the legal system.