This morning, the U.S. Supreme Court announced it won’t review the Bill Cosby criminal case. As a result, he’ll remain free after the Pennsylvania Supreme Court overturned his conviction last year. Nevertheless, we’ll be hearing more about the disgraced comedian in the coming months anyway. A civil lawsuit from accuser Judy Huth is set to go to trial on May 9. That’s one of the Gloria Allred-driven cases that paused for Cosby’s criminal prosecution in Pennsylvania. Now it’s proceeding full steam ahead. Huth says she was 15 when she was assaulted by Cosby at the Playboy Mansion in 1974.
Will we finally see Cosby speaking up on the witness stand at the forthcoming trial? That’s doubtful, and something that deserves some special attention as this entire situation has really showcased the interplay between criminal and civil law.
Some exposition: About fifteen years ago, after an investigation, the Montgomery County D.A. stated in a press release that Cosby wouldn’t be charged for sexually assaulting Andrea Constand, then a 31-year-old employee of the Temple University athletic department. According to Bruce Castor, the D.A. at the time, he found Constand to be credible and thought her best shot at justice would be in a civil lawsuit—where the burden of proof is lower and Cosby would have to testify. By not charging Cosby, after all, the entertainer wouldn’t be able to assert his Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination.