With trial scheduled to begin later this month, attorneys on both sides in a sexual battery lawsuit brought by a Riverside County woman against Bill Cosby have submitted lists of questions they wish for a judge to pose to prospective jurors.
Lawyers for Judy Huth, 64, who lives in the gated community of Canyon Lake, and the comedian filed court papers on Wednesday with Santa Monica Superior Court Judge Craig D. Karlan, offering four inquiries apiece. The judge had asked the attorneys to give him guidance on what introductory questions to pose to prospective panel members.
The lawyers on both sides were unable to agree on a precise set of questions, so they provided the judge with their suggestions.
“Even if you know from media about prior allegations against Bill Cosby, would you still be able to be fair and impartial and to judge this case using only the evidence admitted in this case?” Huth’s attorneys ask.
The Huth lawyers also inquire whether jurors who hear new allegations of sexual abuse against Cosby would have any trouble deciding whether the allegations in the Huth case are true or false based solely on the evidence during trial.
The Cosby attorneys want the judge to ask jurors about pretrial publicity.
“Have you read, seen, or heard any information about allegations of sexual misconduct against Mr. Cosby?” the Cosby legal team asks. “If yes, is there anything about what you have read, seen, or heard that would impact your ability to serve as a fair and impartial juror in this case?”
The Cosby lawyers also inquire whether jurors or “anyone close” to them have been the victim of sexual abuse and whether such an experience would impair their ability to serve as fair jurors.
Huth sued Cosby, now 84, in December 2014. She alleges that in 1974, when she was 15 years old, Cosby invited her and a 16-year-old friend into a house where he convinced her to drink a beer for every game of pool he won. Huth alleges he later took her and her friend to the Playboy Mansion, where he allegedly molested her in a bedroom.
Trial of Huth’s case is scheduled for May 23.
Cosby was previously convicted in a retrial in Pennsylvania of allegations that he drugged and molested Temple University employee Andrea Constand. He was sentenced in 2018 to 10 years in prison, but that state’s Supreme Court last June overturned the conviction after finding he had obtained a nonprosecution agreement from a prior prosecutor.
The Supreme Court in March rejected a request from Pennsylvania prosecutors to review the state supreme court decision.