01 June 2022

Bill Cosby faces sex abuse allegations again as civil trial opens

01 June 2022

Bill Cosby will again be facing sex abuse allegations as lawyers give opening statements in a civil trial that is one of the last remaining legal claims against the comedian.

Lawyers for 64-year-old Judy Huth will outline the evidence they plan to present that Cosby forced her to perform a sex act at the Playboy Mansion in 1975 when she was 16 years old.

The case will hinge on the evidence of Ms Huth, bolstered by photos and other archival exhibits to place the incident in time.

Cosby’s lawyers, who say no sexual abuse happened, are likely to emphasise that the burden of proving the nearly 50-year-old case lies entirely with the claimant.

Judy Huth at a press conference outside the Los Angeles Police Department’s Wilshire Division station in 2014 (Anthony McCartney/AP)

They have acknowledged that Cosby took Ms Huth to the Playboy Mansion, as a photo from the visit shows, but say they believe she was not a minor when it happened.

The trial is one of the last cases Cosby, 84, faces after a Pennsylvania appeals court threw out his criminal sexual assault conviction and freed him from prison 11 months ago.

Several other cases alleging sexual misconduct were settled by his insurer against his will.

Cosby will not give evidence after the judge ruled he could assert his Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination.

He has no plans to leave his Pennsylvania home to attend the trial, which is taking place at a small court in Santa Monica.

Cosby’s representatives say glaucoma has left him blind and made travel too difficult.

The Associated Press does not normally name people who say they have been sexually abused unless they come forward publicly, as Ms Huth has.

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