For decades, the name Bill Cosby was associated with family-friendly humor and the comedian’s popular television series The Cosby Show. However, during the 2000s, disturbing allegations emerged about Cosby drugging and sexually assaulting women. In 2018, the actor was convicted of drugging and sexually assaulting a woman in 2004. He was sentenced to ten years for this offense. However, that conviction was overturned by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court due to a “non-prosecution” agreement Cosby had made with a previous district attorney.
Cosby’s days in court were not over, however. In addition to his criminal charges, he has been sued by several women who have made similar allegations. Recently, news broke that a civil jury awarded $500,000 in Bill Cosby’s sexual abuse trial.
Judy Huth v. Bill Cosby
In 2014, Judy Huth sued Cosby in civil court, alleging that he sexually assaulted her in 1975 at the Playboy Mansion in California when she was 16. Huth’s case had been put on hold while Cosby was being criminally prosecuted in Pennsylvania. When the criminal case was overturned, and he was released, Huth’s lawsuit resumed and went to trial. Recently, a jury awarded Huth a $500,000 judgment. According to a recent report, “[j]urors found that Cosby intentionally caused harmful sexual contact with Huth, reasonably believed she was under 18, and that his conduct was driven by unnatural or abnormal sexual interest in a minor.”
At the time of the verdict, Cosby had multiple other pending sexual abuse civil cases filed against him by women plaintiffs. Many of the lawsuits included defamation claims based on Cosby’s legal team stating that the plaintiffs’ past allegations of sexual misconduct were false.
Cosby’s Sexual Abuse Case Settlements
In 2006, Cosby settled a civil case with Andrea Constand, the alleged victim from his criminal conviction, for $3.4 million. According to a recent report, Cosby’s insurance company has settled ten other sexual abuse civil cases as personal injury claims under his policy.
More Sexual Abuse Claims Allowed Due to Changes in State Law
Late last year, another alleged victim Lili Bernard, filed suit claiming that Cosby drugged and sexually assaulted her in an Atlantic City hotel in 1990. Ms. Bernard was able to file a suit because of changes to New Jersey laws. The laws extended the time limit for filing sexual abuse cases and provided a two-year lookback window for survivors to bring sexual abuse claims regardless of when the offense occurred.
New York’s Adult Survivor’s Act (ASA)
The changes to New Jersey’s laws are comparable to those enacted in New York. In 2019, New York extended the statute of limitations for several sexual abuse crimes. It also opened a lookback period for survivors of childhood sexual abuse to file suit against their abusers, even if those claims were once time-barred.
In June 2022, New York Governor Kathy Hochul signed the Adult Survivor’s Act (ASA) into law. The ASA provides adult survivors of sexual abuse a one-year lookback window, making it possible to file their claims against abusers and those institutions that enabled their abuse regardless of when the abuse occurred. The ASA one-year window will begin on November 24, 2022, and is scheduled to close on November 23, 2023.
If you have been sexually assaulted or abused, you should be able to hold those responsible accountable. At Bonina & Bonina, PC, we are experienced sexual abuse injury attorneys who understand the trauma survivors can experience and are here to help.
Contact an Experienced Sexual Abuse Injury Attorney
If you’ve been the victim of rape, sexual abuse, or other sexual violence, you want an experienced and compassionate sexual abuse injury attorney on your side. Bonina & Bonina, PC understand the importance of helping sexual violence survivors get the help they need for their trauma. Contact us online or call us at 1-888-MEDLAW1 to schedule your free consultation. Home and hospital visits are available. Se Habla Español.