Civil trial on alleged Bill Cosby sexual assault begins in California

The former actor will not make an appearance in court on Wednesday.

Updated: June 1, 2022 - 12:06pm

Comedian Bill Cosby's civil trial on allegations he assaulted a woman when she was a teenager in the 1970's begins Wednesday in Santa Monica, California.

Judy Huth, the woman who has brought the charges, sued Cosby in 2014 alleging that the former actor and comedian took her to the Playboy Mansion where he forced her to perform a sex act when she was 15 years old.

The allegedly incident took place around 1974, and the woman is seeking unspecified damages for sexual battery and emotional distress.

Huth, in her suit, says she and a friend originally met Cosby, now 84, on a film set. Cosby then invited the girls to meet up with him the next week, when he made Huth consumer beer and molested her at the Playboy Mansion.

An attorney for Cosby, Jennifer Bonjean, said, "We are confident that the evidence will discredit the plaintiff’s 50-year-old allegation."

Another member of Cosby's legal team said the former actor would not be present at the trial Wednesday.

High-profile lawyer Gloria Allred is representing Huth.

Cosby's longtime reputation as "America's Dad" was destroyed when over 50 women came forward to accuse him of sexual assaults over the course close to a half-century. 

In 2018, Cosby was found guilty of drugging and molesting an employee of Temple University, his alma mater, at his home in 2004. In 2021, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court overturned the conviction after he had served more than two years of a three- to 10-year sentence.

A previous local district attorney had publicly promised not to prosecute the actor in 2005, thus leading the court to rule that Cosby never should have faced the charges that led to his conviction.