October 6, 2015 / 11:45 PM / 2 years ago

Bill Cosby accuser files sexual assault lawsuit

3 Min Read

Comedian Bill Cosby performs at The Temple Buell Theatre in Denver, Colorado January 17, 2015.Barry Gutierrez

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A woman filed a lawsuit against Bill Cosby on Tuesday alleging sexual assault, saying the veteran comedian drugged and molested her at the Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles in 2008, when she was a minor.

The civil lawsuit filed at U.S. District Court in California's Central District, charges Cosby with "childhood sexual abuse," demanding a jury trial and damages exceeding $75,000.

Chloe Goins joins more than 50 women who have come forward publicly over the past year with allegations against the now 78-year-old Cosby including drugging, sexual harassment, sexual assault and rape.

In most cases, the incidents date back decades, putting them outside the statute of limitations for legal action, but Goins' allegations, coming within eight years of her turning 18, fall within California's legal code.

"Today I recognize that I've taken legal action that many of the other victims of Bill Cosby will never be able to take," Goins told reporters outside the Los Angeles Police Department headquarters.

"This has gone on long enough, it's time Bill Cosby was held accountable for his crimes," she added.

Andrew Wyatt, a spokesman for Cosby, declined to comment.

Spokeswoman Sarah Ardalani of the Los Angeles County District Attorney's office said on Tuesday that prosecutors are still reviewing evidence for possible criminal charges against Cosby in the same case. 

Goins, now 25, told Los Angeles police in January that the incident took place when she was 18 years old, according to a statement at the time from her attorney Spencer Kuvin.

But the lawsuit refers to her as "the then minor Plaintiff," meaning the incident would have had to have taken place before her 18th birthday, listed as May 17.

In an interview with Reuters on Tuesday, Kuvin reiterated that Goins was a minor when the incident took place during the first half of 2008. He also hoped to obtain documents from Hugh Hefner's Playboy Mansion to determine the timeline of events.

"Part of the problem you have when you have a traumatic incident like this with a young child, is that things aren't always clear," Kuvin said.

Cosby's lawyer Marty Singer previously dismissed Goins' allegations, saying in a January statement that Goins was referring to an event at the Playboy Mansion that took place on Aug. 9, 2008 - after her 18th birthday - during which Cosby was in New York.

Singer said they would provide "documentary evidence to appropriate authorities" to support Cosby's claim.

"Now that Marty Singer has confirmed that Mr. Cosby has kept all of his travel documents from 2008, that's fantastic. We want them now," Kuvin said.

Cosby is scheduled to be deposed on Friday in another lawsuit brought by Judy Huth, who accused the comedian of sexually abusing her at the Playboy Mansion in 1974 when she was 15 years old.

Gloria Allred, the attorney who represents Huth, declined to reveal to Reuters the location of where the deposition will be taken.

Editing by Piya Sinha-Roy and Diane Craft

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