The number of women who have come forward with allegations of sexual assault against Bill Cosby has risen by one (the number now sits at 19–for how long I wonder [I’ve added additional information to the end of this post bc I’ve found even more allegations]). And this time there is a lawsuit. Judy Huth has filed a lawsuit alleging that the comedian sexually assaulted her when she was 15 years old.
According to TMZ, Huth and a 16-year-old friend originally met Cosby in 1974 on a film set, then joined him at his tennis club a week later. There, they played pool and each time Cosby won a game Huth allegedly was required to drink a beer, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Cosby and the two girls then allegedly went to the Playboy Mansion where Cosby told them to lie about their ages. After Huth used the bathroom, Cosby told her to sit beside him on a bed, KFI reported.
“He then proceeded to sexually molest her by attempting to put his hand down her pants, and then taking her hand in his hand and performing a sex act on himself without her consent,” the lawsuit states. In the lawsuit, Huth argues that she suffered “psychological damage and mental anguish” as a result of the encounter.
Looking at the various allegations against him, a pattern becomes apparent. Bill Cosby plied most of his victims with alcohol or some other drug (sometimes a combination of the two) and then sexually assaulted them. Just like the other women who have accused Cosby of sexual assault, his lawyers deny the claims:
In court documents filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court on Thursday, the actor’s legal team asked the judge to dismiss the case, claiming Huth only filed her lawsuit after failed attempts at extortion.
One of Cosby’s attorney’s, Marty Singer, said in court documents that Huth’s lawyer had admitted to him in a phone conversation that, in exchange for a “substantial payment” from the actor, Huth “would not pursue criminal charges or civil claims or disclose her story to the media.”
Oooh, cue some nefarious music!
Cosby hurt Huth. She is seeking remuneration for the pain and suffering he inflicted upon her, and initially tried to do so outside the courtroom. When that failed, she decided to pursue criminal charges against Cosby. Why is that considered extortion?
Extortion (also called shakedown, outwresting, and exaction) is a criminal offense of obtaining money, property, or services from a person, entity, or institution, through coercion. Refraining from doing harm is sometimes euphemistically called protection. Extortion is commonly practiced by organized crimegroups. The actual obtainment of money or property is not required to commit the offense. Making a threat of violence which refers to a requirement of a payment of money or property to halt future violence is sufficient to commit the offense. Exaction refers not only to extortion or the unlawful demanding and obtaining of something through force, but additionally, in its formal definition, means the infliction of something such as pain and suffering or making somebody endure something unpleasant
Now, I am not a lawyer, but it seems to me that extortion involves an attempt by an individual(s) to acquire money, property, or services that does belong to that individual(s). To my eyes, Huth has sufficient cause to seek redress from Bill Cosby–he sexually assaulted her. The fact that she threatened to sue him if he didn’t pay her any money does not make her an extortionist, bc he owes her-at the very least-some type of compensation. In fact, by calling her actions extortion, Singer not-too-subtly calls into question her story. He’s trying to re-frame her as someone out to get money through any means possible (i.e. extortion), rather than a victim looking for compensation from her attacker. I guess in his eyes Huth is a liar who wants money and fame, while Bill Cosby is a innocent man being attacked. Me, I see Bill Cosby as a serial rapist who assaulted multiple women over a period of 40 years and only now, with all these women speaking up, is he starting to face any kind of punishment (though sadly, not the kind of punishment he deserves–by that I mean jail time). Cosby is lucky that more of his victims haven’t sought legal action against him. I’ve no idea how successful Judy Huth will be in her suit against Cosby, but I’m crossing my fingers for her.
In another story related to the accusations leveled against Bill Cosby—the 77 year old comedian has had his honorary Naval title revoked:
The Navy is revoking Bill Cosby’s title of honorary chief petty officer, saying allegations of sexual abuse made against the comedian are serious and conflict with the Navy’s core values.
Navy Secretary Ray Mabus and Master Chief Petty Officer Michael Stevens made the announcement Thursday in a statement.
Cosby enlisted in the Navy in 1956 and served four years as a hospital corpsman before being honorably discharged in 1960 as a 3rd Class Petty Officer. The honorary title was presented to Cosby in 2011.
Edit: The allegations continue to come in. No sooner did I hit submit on this post than I heard of three more women who have come forward with allegations against Bill Cosby.