1975, Bill Cosby sexually abused a 16-year-old girl at the Playboy Mansion, according to a civil jury verdict.
The jury in Los Angeles County found in favor of Judy Huth, now 64 years old, and awarded her $791,000.
The jury determined that Cosby willfully engaged in harmful sexual contact with Huth, reasonably believed she was under 18, and that his actions were motivated by an abnormal or unnatural sexual interest in a minor.
The verdict is a significant legal loss for the 84-year-old entertainer, who was once referred to as "America's dad." This comes nearly a year after his Pennsylvania sexual assault conviction was overturned, and he was released from prison. After his insurance settled several others against his will, Huth's lawsuit was one of the few outstanding legal claims against him.
Cosby did not attend the trial or testify in person, but jurors were shown brief snippets from his 2015 video deposition in which he denied having sexual contact with Huth. Through his lawyer and publicist, he continues to refute the accusation.
After two days of deliberations, jurors had decided on nearly every issue on their verdict form, including whether Cosby abused Huth and if she deserved damages. Due to a personal obligation, the jury foreperson could not continue serving, and the panel had to begin deliberations with a replacement juror on Monday.
Cosby's attorneys agreed that in April 1975, Cosby met Huth and her high school classmate on a film location in Southern California, then took them to the Playboy Mansion days later.
Donna Samuelson, a crucial witness and friend of Huth shot photographs at the residence of Huth and Cosby, which loomed prominently during the trial.
Huth said that while the three were hanging out in a bedroom adjacent to a game room, Cosby tried to put his hand down her pants, then exposed himself and forced her to perform sex.
Huth filed her case in 2014, claiming that her son was turning 15 — the age she initially recalled when she visited the estate — and a wave of other women accusing Cosby of similar activities triggered new grief over what she had experienced as a teenager.
During Wednesday's final statements, Nathan Goldberg, Huth's attorney, told the jury of nine women and three men that "my client deserves to have Cosby held accountable for what he did."
Goldberg stated, "Each of you knows in your heart that Cosby sexually assaulted Miss Huth,"
Most jurors agreed, granting Huth victory in a case that spanned eight years and overcame numerous obstacles to reach trial.
Jennifer Bonjean, an attorney for Bill Cosby, repeatedly questioned Huth and Samuelson during their testimony about inaccuracies in the details of their testimonies and a similarity in their accounts, which Bonjean saw as evidence of cooperation between the two women.
This includes the women claiming in pre-trial depositions and police interviews that Samuelson had played Donkey Kong on the day in question, despite the game's release occurring six years later.
Bonjean emphasized this in what became known as the "Donkey Kong defense."
Goldberg urged the jury to disregard the little flaws in detail that he claimed were inherent in 45-year-old accounts and to instead focus on the central issues underlying the charges. He informed the jury that Samuelson referred to "games like Donkey Kong" in her initial deposition statement.
The Cosby defense attorney began her closing statements with "It's on like Donkey Kong," and concluded with "game over."
During his response, Huth's attorney displayed anger.
"This is about justice!" he said, thumping the podium. "We don't need game over! We require justice!"