Bill Cosby’s verdict finds jury in favor of Judy Hutt in sexual assault trial

The jury has ordered Bill Cosby to pay $ 500,000 on Judy Huttwho claims to have harassed her at the Playboy mansion in 1975 when she was a 16-year-old girl, but has found no criminal compensation.

The verdict was in favor of Huth, although the Cosby team was pleased with the result. When the verdict was read without penalty, Cosby’s spokesman smiled in the gallery and his team of lawyers rejoiced as they left the courtroom.

Judy Hutt, now 64, accused Cosby to entice her and a friend to the mansion a few days after meeting them in a park. She claims that Cosby took her to the bedroom alone, took off his tracksuits and then took her hand and used it to masturbate, forcing her to have sex.

On Tuesday, the jury found that Cosby really intended to cause harmful or offensive contact with Hutt and that it led to “sexually offensive contact”, while finding that Hugh was harmed by Cosby’s behavior. The jury concluded that any “normal person without hesitation” would be “disturbed, irritated, offended or hurt” by Cosby’s behavior. Nine jurors voted to agree that Cosby’s behavior was motivated by “unnatural or unusual sexual interest in a minor,” while three jurors disagreed.

The trial, which took place at the Santa Monica courthouse, focused on the testimony of Hutt and her friend Donna Samuelson, as well as two other women who claimed that Cosby also sexually assaulted them in 1975.

The verdict was handed down after nearly three days of deliberations, and the jury had to resume those deliberations from scratch when the juror was released from the case due to a schedule conflict. The jurors repeatedly asked questions and wondered if the case had risen to the level of triggering criminal damages. Against this backdrop, Hutt’s team proposed a partial conviction, while Cosby’s team requested incorrect court proceedings – noting their third separate violation, all of which were rejected by Judge Craig Carlan.

Last Friday, the jury almost reached a verdict, but it had to start all over again with its deliberations on Monday morning, because on the end of last week, the head was released from the case and replaced by a deputy. On Friday, the chief said jurors had agreed on eight of the nine issues they had been asked to resolve. Judge Carlan initially said he would take a partial sentence on Friday afternoon, but changed his mind when a deputy sheriff informed him that the courthouse would close in a few minutes. On Monday, Judge Carlan informed both sides that he had invested heavily in his decision and instructed the jury to “ignore” its previous week’s debate and start over, saying: “I have faith in our jury system. … It doesn’t feel right to rush the verdict on such an important case.

The jury had trouble reaching an agreement on the special sentence form: whether Cosby had acted with “malice, oppression or fraud” that would result in punitive damages. (In the end, they voted nine to three that Cosby’s behavior had not risen to the level of criminal compensation and nine to three that Huth’s compensation should be $ 500,000.)

“Achieving a fair result is not always easy,” Judge Carlan told the jury on Tuesday afternoon, about an hour before the verdict was finally reached. The jury told the court that they seemed to be divided on one specific issue. “If you can solve it, that would be great. If you can’t, you can’t, “the judge explained. “If you are hopeless and helpless in a dead end, then you are.”

Earlier on Tuesday morning, the judge made both sides argue again about the jury’s confusion. It is very unusual for disputes to continue amid debate. In their latest attempt to convince the jury on Tuesday, Hutt and Cosby’s lawyers had sharply different views.

“She did not ask for it. She didn’t want it, “said Hutt’s lawyer, Nathan Goldberg, who told the jury that Cosby lured Hutt to the Playboy mansion with” careful planning, “saying he was clearly malicious.

“Imagine taking a minor to the Playboy mansion. She doesn’t even have to be there, “Goldberg said. “Removing his penis … it’s malicious … people shouldn’t do that in our society.”

Cosby’s lawyer, Jennifer Bonjan, urged the jury to focus only on what Cosby may have done to Hutt, and not to take into account outside opinions or statements. “You can’t say he’s him, he’s a bad person,” the lawyer said, stressing that while she’s not trying to “minimize the jury’s convictions,” there must be a “range of reprehensible behavior.” Bonjan said that in this particular case there was “no drugs” and “no intrusion”, so “it does not lead to malice”.

“I have to say that some things are worse than others,” Bonjan said. “We have to have a continuum, not if we don’t, we’re just participating in the justice of the crowd.

Bonjan also raised questions about the chronology of events and told the jury that a common theme of Hutt’s testimony was that she was “angry” but not “upset” to the extent that it affected her daily life.

“Forty years later, she’s starting to get distressed?” Bonjan said. “It doesn’t take you 40 years to realize that something was so reprehensible, as the plaintiff says.

Earlier in the trial, Hutt testified that she and her boyfriend felt like they were on an “adventure” when Cosby invited them to the mansion. But she was frightened when Cosby made her sit next to him on the bed. She said he tried to kiss her and tried to put his hands down on her pants. She resisted, telling him she was menstruating. At that moment, she said, Cosby stood up and held her hand on his penis until he ejaculated.

“It wasn’t what I wanted at all.” she told the jury. “I freaked out.”

Cosby, 84, exercised his right to the Fifth Amendment not to testify or attend the trial. Instead, jurors saw videos of his testimony in which he said he would never prosecute a minor for sex. Jurors also saw excerpts from Hugh Hefner’s testimony before his death in 2017.

During the trial, Bonjan focused his defense on challenging Hutt’s trust. She claims that Huth has claimed for years that she was 15 at the time of the attack, only to change the timeline shortly before the trial, saying she was actually 16. Bonjan said the bill did not match.

Goldberg (who is a partner of Gloria Allred, who was also in court every day on Hutt’s team) called on the jury in its closing speech to fully compensate Hutt for the psychological damage caused by the attack. “He didn’t pay for what he did,” Holberg said. – He missed it.

Hutt filed a lawsuit in December 2014, as many other women filed charges against Cosby. The case was adjourned for several years while Cosby faced two criminal lawsuits for sexual assault in Pennsylvania. Cosby’s sentence was overturned last year and he was released after serving nearly three years in state prison.

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