SANTA MONICA (CBSLA.com/AP) — A Los Angeles court has tentatively set a July 30, 2018, date for trial of a lawsuit that accuses Bill Cosby of sexually assaulting a teenage girl at the Playboy Mansion more than 40 years ago.
At a hearing Tuesday, the Los Angeles County Superior Court judge set the distant date because Pennsylvania prosecutors are expected to retry a criminal case against Cosby following a jury deadlock less than two weeks ago.
In the Los Angeles case, Judy Huth accuses the comedian of forcing her to perform a sex act on him in a bedroom at the mansion around 1974, when she was 15.
The hearing comes less than two weeks after a Pennsylvania jury deadlocked on criminal charges against Cosby.
A mistrial was declared June 17 on charges Cosby drugged and molested Andrea Constand, the former Temple University director of women’s basketball, at his suburban Philadelphia home in 2004. Cosby said the encounter was consensual.
Cosby’s legal team declared victory after the mistrial, though Pennsylvania prosecutors vowed to retry him.
Attorney Gloria Allred, who represents Huth, does not believe the mistrial will impact the civil case.
“There’s a higher burden of proof in a criminal case than there is in a civil case,” Allred told KCAL9. “In a criminal case a prosecutor, any prosecutor, must carry the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.”
The comedian and actor once known as “America’s Dad” for his TV role on “The Cosby Show” as paternal Dr. Cliff Huxtable has had his reputation tarnished with accusations of sexual abuse by nearly 60 women.
In the wake of the criminal trial, though, Cosby was planning town hall meetings in an attempt to restore his legacy. However, his so-called town hall tour is unlikely to happen before his retrial on sex assault charges in Pennsylvania, one of his lawyers said Tuesday.
Attorney Angela Agrusa said after the Santa Monica hearing that she “can’t imagine” Cosby’s legal team would let him perform or speak publicly as representatives said he planned to do this summer.
“He doesn’t take lightly these criminal charges,” Agrusa said. “He would never do anything that undermined the importance of this issue. I don’t see him speaking publicly like that.”
Cosby spokesman Andrew Wyatt said by email that the legal team will not let him speak about sexual assault. He did not say if the public events would go forward.
Cosby, 79, is fighting lawsuits by 10 women on both coasts. Three have filed sexual battery or defamation cases in California, and seven have sued for defamation in Massachusetts, where Cosby has a home. He has denied any wrongdoing.
A second deposition by Cosby was put on hold pending the criminal case. His first deposition in the Huth case is sealed.
The next hearing in the civil lawsuit is scheduled for September.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)