Bill Cosby Will Not Testify at His Upcoming Sexual Battery Trial, Which Just Began Jury Selection

Judy Huth alleges that Bill Cosby molested her in a bedroom at the Playboy Mansion in 1974

Actor/stand-up comedian Bill Cosby arrives for sentencing for his sexual assault trial at the Montgomery County Courthouse on September 24, 2018 in Norristown, Pennsylvania.
Bill Cosby. Photo: Gilbert Carrasquillo/Getty

Jury selection has begun in a civil trial against Bill Cosby, 84, who is accused of sexually abusing a teen at the Playboy Mansion in the '70s.

Opening statements in Los Angeles Superior Court are expected to begin June 1, The New York Times reports — less than a year after the Pennsylvania Supreme Court overturned Cosby's conviction on aggravated indecent assault and ordered his release from prison.

Andrew Wyatt, Cosby's publicist and spokesperson, says Cosby will not be testifying.

"He does not have to be present in a civil matter," he tells PEOPLE. "Since he is 100 percent blind with glaucoma and the COVID numbers are going up, we just don't want to take any chances."

Wyatt says Cosby is feeling positive about the trial outcome.

"He feels he is in capable hands," Wyatt says. "He feels he will experience the same vindication he experienced in Pennsylvania. The jurors will pay attention to the facts of this case and they will make their decisions without any prejudice towards him. ... We do believe he will be vindicated and he will be able to move on with his family and continue to provide humanity and humor to the world."

Judy Huth alleges that Cosby molested her in a bedroom at the Playboy Mansion — Hugh Hefner's famed Holmby Hills estate — when she was 16 years old.

She alleges she met the embattled comedian in 1975 when she and a 17-year-old friend were watching a movie being filmed in a San Marino park in Los Angeles. She says Cosby approached the pair and asked them to come sit with him.

He allegedly invited the girls to meet him at his tennis club the following Saturday, where he allegedly "served them alcoholic beverages" while they played billiards. Huth alleges that she was required to drink a beer every time Cosby won.

After the girls had allegedly been served multiple alcoholic beverages, Cosby told them he had a "surprise" for them and brought them to the Playboy Mansion, according to a civil suit she filed against Cosby. Cosby allegedly told the girls to say they were 19 if anyone asked.

When Huth told Cosby she needed to use the bathroom, he directed her to a bathroom in a bedroom suite, the suit alleges. When she emerged, she allegedly found Cosby sitting on the bed. He asked her to sit down and proceeded to sexually molest her without her consent, the complaint alleges.

Judy Huth appears at a press conference outside the Los Angeles Police Department's Wilshire Division station in Los Angeles about her lawsuit against Bill Cosby alleging he abused her at the Playboy Mansion around 1974 when she was 15-years-old. As Cosby awaits a verdict in his sexual assault case in Pennsylvania, the comedian's civil lawyers are fighting civil lawsuits against him by 10 women around the country. A trial date may be set later in June 2017 for Huth's sexual battery case
Judy Huth. Anthony McCartney/AP Photo

The statute of limitations had expired for a criminal case, but California law allows victims of underage sexual abuse to file civil lawsuits decades after the alleged incidents take place.

Last June, Cosby was released from prison after his conviction in the Andrea Constand case was overturned.

Constand was an administrator with the Temple University women's basketball team when she says Cosby, whom she considered to be a mentor, drugged and sexually assaulted her in his Elkins Park, Pa., home in 2004.

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In its judgment, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court held that the decision to use Cosby's statements from a previous deposition — where Cosby admitted he gave quaaludes to women with whom he wanted to have sex — against him deprived him of his Fifth Amendment rights because a previous prosecutor had promised not to charge him in exchange for sitting for the deposition. Cosby, the court stated, had been subject to "an unconstitutional 'coercive bait-and-switch,'" which the court characterized as a "due process violation."

The high court's decision also prevented the prosecutor from refiling the criminal charges.

If you or someone you know has been a victim of sexual abuse, text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 to be connected to a certified crisis counselor.

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