by Dominic Patten – Deadline Hollywood
Just a couple of weeks after the Superior Court of Pennsylvania rejected Bill Cosby’s appeal petition in the 2004 rape case that put the once beloved comedian behind bars earlier this fall, a Los Angeles judge today inked in a new trial date for an assault of a minor that allegedly occurred 45 years ago.
In a hearing Tuesday in Santa Monica, LA Superior Court Judge Craig Kaplan declared that the trial for Cosby’s supposed 1974 attack on then 15-year old Judy Huth would start on October 7, 2019.
That will be just over a year into Cosby’s three to 10-year incarceration stint in the Keystone State for the rape of then Temple University employee Andrea Constand. Found guilty in a retrial this spring on three counts of aggravated indecent assault. The man once called “America’s Dad” faced up to 30 years in prison, but the charges were consolidated into at a sentencing hearing in late September.
That two-day hearing saw Cosby labelled a sexually violent predator and led away in chuffs and chains to immediately begin serving his time.
In this civil case, Huth claims that the actor molested her at a party at the now deceased Hugh Hefner’s Playboy Mansion when she was teenager. Though the old statute of limitations in California has now long passed on Huth’s allegations, she was still able to file a case because of being a minor when the attack alleged occurred.
Changed before and last set for December 3 of this year, the West Coast trial start was moved nearly 10 months on Tuesday to accommodate the court calendar and the changed circumstances of Cosby himself. Having already sat for one seven-hour deposition in the matter in late 2015 before Huth’s lawyer Gloria Allred, it is unclear right now if the now imprisoned Cosby will have to go under oath again.
“Judgement day finally came for Bill Cosby in the criminal case,” Allred told Deadline after the LASC hearing today. “He was convicted of 3 felonies and was classified as a sexually violent predator,” the activist attorney added. “Now it is time for justice in the civil case for our client, Judy Huth who alleges in her lawsuit that she became the victim of child sexual abuse by Mr. Cosby at the Playboy mansion. We are happy that the court set a trial date of Oct 7, 2019 in our civil case against Mr. Cosby. While he is sitting in prison ,he will have to be concerned that he will not be able to avoid facing a civil jury and judgement day in Santa Monica in Ms. Huth’s case.”
Reps for Cosby did not respond today to request for comment on the new trial date being set in LA.
Unless he can find an East Coast appeal court both willing to hear his case and overturn the county court ruling by Judge Steven O’Neill, Cosby cannot even begin the process of seeking parole in the PA action until 2021.
Although the actor has admitted in depositions more than a decade ago to giving Constand several sleep-inducing Benadryl pills on the night of the assault of her in his Philadelphia-area mansion in 2004, Cosby has insisted unsuccessfully time and again through various investigations, two trials and the sentencing hearing that the encounter was consensual. In interviews with law enforcement, pretrial filings, two stints on the stand in the first trial and the retrial and at the sentencing hearing, Constand, who did not instigate the criminal charges in PA, has adamantly said otherwise.
Almost all of the more than 60 women that have claimed Cosby drugged and assaulted them over the decades say it was done with a similar combo of pills and alcohol. Unlike many of those women, some of whom were at the two trials and the sentencing hearing at the end of September in Norristown, PA, Cosby paid Constand millions in a once-confidential settlement about a decade before the criminal case was opened.