On Wednesday, a judge turned down a motion from Bill Cosby’s camp to dismiss a lawsuit in which a woman accuses Cosby of sexually assaulting her in 1974 when she was 15.
Cosby will be deposed on Friday in the lawsuit that claims he molested Judith Huth at the Playboy Mansion more than four decades ago. However, his testimony will be sealed until December 22. Judge Craig D. Karlan approved on Wednesday an order to seal the deposition for at least 60 days. This way, the court can assess which parts of the testimonies may or may not be considered confidential.
Woman’s molestation suit against Bill Cosby can proceed, judge rules http://t.co/V6Plejw37z
— TIME.com (@TIME) October 7, 2015
“It seems to me, to be the most reasonable way to approach this because I have no idea what’s going to happen at this deposition,” Karlan said in a statement.
Karlan also said he wants to maintain a balance between “satisfying public interest” in the case and making sure that 78-year-old Cosby gets a fair trial. Karlan also denied Cosby’s appeal demanding Huth to pay sanctions worth $45,000 for the procedural violations her former lawyer had allegedly committed.
Cosby’s attorney, Martin Singer, claimed that Marc Strecker, Huth’s former legal representative, improperly named Cosby in the lawsuit. The defendant should have been referred to as John Doe until the merits of the suit have been verified; thereby protecting the identity and privacy of the accused. Strecker has been replaced by Gloria Allred, a well-known civil rights lawyer.
Allred was very happy with the court’s decision on the sanctions Cosby and his attorney were demanding. “We’re very happy about the sanctions decision by the court because that could have ended the case but it did not,” she told ET. “We’re moving forward.”
Cosby is scheduled to testify on Friday while Huth will give her testimony on October 15. On December 22, both parties are expected to appear at the hearing to decide if the deposition should be unsealed.
Cosby’s legal representative filed an order to seal the deposition in September to prevent a similar incident that happened in July, where a deposition from 2005 was leaked by the media. In 2005, Cosby was deposed in a separate lawsuit filed by Andrea Constandt, former Temple University staff and admitted that he obtained Quaaludes to drug the women he wanted to have sex with. The case was settled in 2006.
— Philly.com (@phillydotcom) July 29, 2015
Singer argued that carelessly naming Cosby in the lawsuit filed by Huth prejudiced his client as “all of a sudden… numerous women came forward.” He said none of them surfaced before the lawsuit was filed.
“This was the lynchpin that triggered everything coming forward against my client being tried in the media,” Singer said. He claimed that the lapses committed by Huth’s former lawyer attracted public interest.
However, Karlan insisted that the procedural violations did not affect or prejudice Cosby. Although he is troubled by the violations, he assured that he intended to give both parties a proper and fair trial, which is why he denied dismissing Huth’s civil suit against Cosby.
More than 50 women have come forward to press sexual molestation charges against Cosby. However, most of the complainants’ statute of limitations have expired, making it impossible for them to push through with their cases. Huth’s case may be one of the few cases that will be heard since she claims she was a minor when she was molested.
Another complainant filed a civil suit in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, claiming that Cosby drugged and molested her at a party in the Playboy Mansion back in 2008. Chloe Goins, 24, said she was 18 when the incident happened.
[Images by Michael Loccisano, Frederick M. Brown; Getty Images]