A jury has ruled in favor of Judy Huth who accused Bill Cosby of sexually abusing her in 1975 when she was just 16 years old at the Playboy Mansion, reports the New York Times. The jury voted 9-3 in Huth's favor after 10 days of testimony.
The verdict was read in a Santa Monica, California, courtroom on Tuesday and Huth was awarded $500,000 in compensatory damages, The jury declined to award any punitive damages.
After the jury was dismissed, one juror, Aldo Reyna, 25, explained why he voted in favor of Huth.
“Given the time frame, you have to go on somebody’s word,” he said in an interview. “Either you believe them, or you don’t. I believed her on the stand.”
While his legal team was present during the proceedings, Cosby was not in attendance. Last year, the comedian was released from prison when his conviction of sexual assault was overturned after serving three years in prison.
Huth, who filed a civil lawsuit in 2014 seeking damages for emotional distress, expressed her relief about the verdict.
“I feel good, I feel vindicated,” she said.
According to the suit, Huth said that she met Cosby in 1975 with her friend Donna Samuelson, who was 17 at the time, while they were watching a film at a Los Angeles San Marino park. Cosby was filming a scene for the movie Let’s Do It Again in the area. She claimed that Cosby asked her and her friend to sit with him, and then they went with him to the Playboy Mansion where he approached her in a bedroom when she was by herself, the suit says.
In her emotional testimony, Huth said that Cosby “tried to put his hand down her pants and then forced her to perform a sex act on him.”
“I had my eyes closed at that point,” Huth said in court. “I was freaking out.”
Afterward, she said, she was “mad—I felt duped, fooled. I was let down. I was hurt.”
Cosby denied Huth’s allegations calling them “a complete and utter fabrication.”
After the verdict was announced, Jennifer Bonjean, Cosby’s attorney, said that the jury deciding against awarding punitive damages was a victory for her client.
“We do feel some relief,” she said. “Finding no punitive damages was a significant win for us.”
Andrew Wyatt, Cosby's spokesperson said they plan to appeal the decision.
“Mr. Cosby continues to maintain his innocence,” Wyatt said in a statement, “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.”
Lily Bernard, an actress who appeared on an episode of the Cosby Show—and who also filed a lawsuit against Cosby, claiming he drugged and raped her—attended the trial in support of Huth. She lauded the verdict, saying it “goes way beyond Cosby survivors.”
“Judy Huth is a hero!” she said. “Her coming forward inspired others to find their voices.”