Bill Cosby’s lawyers have announced they are appealing the verdict of a civil jury in California that in June found he sexually assaulted Judy Huth when she was 16 and are seeking a new trial.
In a filing in Los Angeles County Superior Court in Santa Monica, Calif., his lawyers gave notice that they are asking the court to set aside the judgment in favor of Ms. Huth, which awarded her $500,000 in damages.
The lawyers listed a number of grounds, including “irregularity in the proceedings of the court, jury or adverse party,” “misconduct of the jury” and “error in law,” among other reasons, without giving more details. The papers said a more formal filing of appeal is being prepared.
Jurors in the case agreed with Ms. Huth, who first came forward with her accusations in 2014, that Mr. Cosby assaulted her in 1975, when as a teenager she accepted his invitation to join him at the Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles. It was the first civil case accusing Mr. Cosby of sexual assault to go to trial.
Aside from its significance to Ms. Huth, the verdict offered a degree of satisfaction for many of the other women who for years have accused Mr. Cosby, now 85, of similar abuse. For them, Ms. Huth’s case offered an opportunity for public vindication of their accounts after Mr. Cosby’s criminal conviction in the Andrea Constand case was overturned on due process grounds by a Pennsylvania appellate panel last year.
A lawyer for Ms. Huth, Gloria Allred, said in an email: “Bill Cosby filed a notice of intention to file a motion for a new trial. He fought our case with everything he had for seven and a half years, and he lost. We expect to be victorious in upholding the verdict against Mr. Cosby, which we fought hard for and won.”
But Mr. Cosby’s supporters have said they viewed the monetary damage award in the Huth case as a victory because the jury had the option of awarding a significantly higher sum.
Mr. Cosby has consistently denied the many accusations brought against him, but many of his accusers had been barred from filing their own suits because they had not come forward at the time when they said Mr. Cosby had attacked them.
Ms. Huth’s suit was able to move forward because the jury agreed she was a minor at the time, and California law extends the time frame in which people who say they were molested as children can file a civil claim. A spokesman for Mr. Cosby, Andrew Wyatt, said changes to California’s statute of limitations had been unfair to Mr. Cosby because they came into effect during his period in prison in Pennsylvania.
“We’re appealing the verdict and the compensatory damages of $500,000.00 awarded to Ms. Huth,” he said in an email.
During the trial, Ms. Huth, now 64, told of how a chance meeting with Mr. Cosby while he filmed a movie in a local park led her eventually to an isolated bedroom in the Playboy Mansion. In often emotional testimony, she described how a famous man she had once admired, whose comedy records her father collected, tried to put his hand down her pants and then forced her to perform a sex act on him.