Lawyers for Bill Cosby slam accuser’s story change as ‘trial by ambush’ – New York Daily News

Lawyers for Bill Cosby have lost their eleventh-hour effort to kill off Judy Huth’s long-delayed sex battery case against the former comedian over allegations he sexually assaulted her at the Playboy mansion nearly 20 years ago. 50 years.

In recent court documents, Huth said she now believes the incident involving Cosby happened in 1975, when she was 16, and not in 1974, when she was 15, as she originally alleged so. The change in his account sparked a wave of backlash from the comedian’s lawyers, who asked to delay or dismiss the trial on the grounds that Huth’s latest version of events had undermined their defense, and with the selection of the jury in a few days.

“It is extraordinarily difficult to defend against an allegation from 50 years ago. No one could do that, innocent, guilty or something in between,” said one of Cosby’s attorneys, Jennifer Bonjean, who is also defending R. Kelly in his Chicago child pornography trial.

“You work, you work, you work to create a defense and then all of a sudden at the last minute it’s bait and switch.”

Huth’s attorneys defended the story change, noting it was a more thorough review of archived evidence in the case, specifically an old photo of their client and the actor, who sported a beard at the time. Further research ultimately led them to conclude that Cosby was filming the movie “Let’s Do It Again” at the time at a Los Angeles-area park, where Huth alleged the two met before taking her to the manor.

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The 1975 film is just one of two where Cosby is bearded, his legal team noted.

The change was first revealed in a statement attached to a May 5 petition, but Bonjean argued she should have been told directly.

“It’s not fair,” she told reporters. “It’s called a trial by ambush.”

During a hearing at a Santa Monica courthouse on Tuesday, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge David Karlan agreed to let Bonjean question Huth further, but refused to dismiss the sexual assault case outright. .

Cosby’s attorneys said they built the bulk of their defense around the timeline provided by Huth and his trip to the Playboy mansion, and went to great lengths to establish the former’s whereabouts. television star at the specified time and planned to question Huth about the witness. consider the timeline she provided.

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His attorney, Noah Goldberg, balked at the defence’s refusal, suggesting they still knew when the alleged incident happened and were trying to cover up that particular fact.

“They always knew it was 1975,” Goldberg said.

Huth originally filed his lawsuit in 2014, shortly after Cosby was the subject of dozens of allegations raised by a woman who accused him of drugging and raping them in incidents dating back to the mid-1960s. His trial, however – alongside several other similar civil lawsuits – was delayed when Cosby was arrested in Pennsylvania for a sex crime in 2015.

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After two criminal trials, he was convicted in 2018, although the decision was ultimately overturned by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court last summer. Cosby was later released from state prison, where he served nearly three years of a 10-year sentence.

The 84-year-old actor is not expected to travel to California from his Pennsylvania home to stand trial, with his reps citing glaucoma that left him blind.

Jury selection in the case is expected to begin Monday in Santa Monica.

With dispatch services

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