Bill Cosby sexually abused teenager in 1975, jury finds

Judy Huth fought Bill Cosby for seven and a half years, today he was proven guilty of sexually assaulting her - ITV News' Robert Moore reports

Bill Cosby sexually abused a 16-year-old girl at the Playboy Mansion in 1975, jurors at a civil trial concluded on Tuesday.

Judy Huth had testified that Cosby, now 84, had forced her to perform a sex act on him at the venue when she was a teenager.

Jurors in Los Angeles county ruled in favour of Ms Huth, who is now 64, awarding her $500,000 (£407,000).

Judy Huth (second from right) with attorneys following the verdict in her favour. Credit: AP

Jurors found Cosby intentionally caused harmful sexual contact with Ms Huth, that he reasonably believed she was under 18, and his conduct was driven by unnatural or abnormal sexual interest in a minor.

“It’s been torture,” Ms Huth said of the seven-year legal fight.

“To be ripped apart, you know, thrown under the bus and backed over. This, to me, is such a big victory.”

Cosby's spokesperson Andrew Wyatt said they would appeal the verdict and he claimed the defence won because Ms Huth didn’t win punitive damages.

Following the conclusion of the civil trial Mr Wyatt said there was no "win here".

"All of these women wanted to be relevant," he told reporters outside the courtroom.

"And they come back 50, 60 or 70 years later trying to be relevant. Y'all can have this free time. Have your 15 minutes of fame, because it's over. He was vacated."

Cosby's spokesperson Andrew Wyatt spoke to the media following the trial's verdict

"You hear how the thugs that they brought to this courtroom are today," Mr Wyatt added. "But what happened today wasn't a victory - they did not get the punitive damages." "The victory was ours because we got to disclose and show what this woman was all about."

Tuesday's decision comes nearly a year after Cosby's Pennsylvania criminal conviction for sexual assault was thrown out and he was freed from prison.

Ms Huth’s lawsuit was one of the last remaining legal claims against the entertainer after his insurer settled many others against his will.

Cosby’s attorneys agreed that he met Ms Huth and her high school friend on a Southern California film set in April of 1975, then took them to the Playboy Mansion a few days later.

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Ms Huth’s friend Donna Samuelson, a key witness, took photos at the mansion of Ms Huth and Cosby, which loomed large at the trial. Ms Huth testified that in a bedroom adjacent to a game room where the three had been hanging out, Cosby attempted to put his hand down her pants, then exposed himself and forced her to perform a sex act.

Cosby - the once-beloved comedian and star of The Cosby Show - did not attend the trial or testify in person.

But short clips from 2015 video deposition were played for jurors, in which he denied any sexual contact with Ms Huth.

He continues to deny the allegation through his attorney and publicist.