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Opening statements in civil case against Bill Cosby start in Santa Monica courtroom

Opening statements in civil trial against Bill Cosby begin
Opening statements in civil trial against Bill Cosby begin 03:03

A sexual battery case brought by Judy Huth against comedian Bill Cosby, which had been put on hold because of the criminal trial in Pennsylvania, got its start Wednesday in a Santa Monica courtroom. 

Gloria Allred is one of Huth's attorneys. 

"Ms. Huth alleges in her lawsuit that she was a victim of sexual battery by Mr. Cosby when was 16-years-old," Allred said. 

Photograph shown to jurors of Bill Cobsy and Judy Huth at the Playboy Mansion in 1975.

Huth claims she met Cosby in 1975 during a film shoot where he later invited her and a female friend to go with him to the Playboy Mansion. In court, jurors were shown a photo of Cosby and Huth at the mansion, where Huth said the comedian and actor sexually assaulted her. 

CBSLA asked Cosby's publicist, Andrew Wyatt, why he would invite a minor to the Playboy Mansion. 

"I think the lied about their age," Wyatt responded. 

Huth's case is one of the last legal claims remaining against Cosby, after his criminal conviction was thrown out and he was freed from prison nearly a year ago. 

In 2019, a new California law extended the amount of time allowed for victims of childhood sexual abuse to file a lawsuit. 

"This case epitomizes the problems with abolishing statutes of limitations," Cosby's attorney, Jennifer Bonjean, said. "You're asking people to defend blank allegations from 50 years ago." 

In opening statements, the defense said it has copies of the butler's log from the Playboy mansion that contradicts Huth's story. 

Huth's attorneys said they plan to call other accusers to testifying that they were also assaulted by Cosby in 1975. 

"There's a lot of people that have come out at various points. They typically have one thing in common, they're represented by the Allred firm." 

For her part, Allred said that there's no dispute that her client was a minor when the incident took place with Cosby. 

The jury is made up four men and eight women from different ethnic backgrounds and the trial is expected to last about two weeks. 

Cosby is not required to appear in court. 

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