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D.A.’s office reviews 2008 allegation against Cosby

LOS ANGELES — Whether actor-comedian Bill Cosby will be tried on charges that he sexually assaulted a woman in the Playboy Mansion in 2008 is up to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

The Los Angeles Police Department has completed its investigation into allegations that Cosby, 78, assaulted Chloe Goins and turned the results of that investigation over to the district attorney Oct. 1.

Jane Robison, a spokeswoman for District Attorney Jackie Lacey, said via email that the office would not comment on a timeframe for the review.

Spencer Kuvin, the attorney for Goins, 24, filed a federal civil lawsuit against Cosby on behalf of his client on Oct. 6.  In January 2014, Goins came forward claiming Cosby took advantage of her at the Playboy Mansion when she was 18.

Goins told LAPD detectives that she blacked out after taking a drink from Cosby. When she woke up, she said she found herself naked in bed and the comedian was biting her toes with his pants around his ankles.

The announcement that the LAPD had completed its investigation into Goins’ allegation came a day after attorney Gloria Allred introduced three more women who have accused Cosby of sexual assault.

Cosby, who became a black family icon from his role as father Heathcliff Huxtable on “The Cosby Show,” has never been charged with a crime even though about 50 women have brought allegations against him. The purported victims started coming forward in 2004, with some of the claims dating as far back as the 1960s.

Last December, the District Attorney’s Office declined to charge the comedian for sexually assaulting Judy Huth, one of Allred’s clients, because the statute of limitations had expired.

Huth said Cosby assaulted her when she was 15 years old, at the Playboy Mansion in 1974.  Now, Huth is suing Cosby; the entertainer is scheduled to submit to a deposition in that case Oct. 9.

According to Ann McCarty, the executive director of North County Rape Crisis Services in Santa Barbara, said the “fear of not being believed” is the main reason women are hesitant to report incidents of rape.

“When you think about it, there’s no other crime where the victim is questioned more than the perpetrator,” McCarty said. “Robbery victims are not asked questions like ‘Why were you walking by yourself?’ ‘Why were you wearing that?’ ‘Why were you dancing with someone you just met?’ This infers that they are to blame. As a society, we all have a right to do those things.”

According to McCarty, less than one percent of sexual assault allegations are false, and only one in 10 incidents are reported at all. She said that rate has remained about the same in her 21 years at the crisis center.

For this to improve, McCarty said, society must sustain a “continual growth” to create an environment where sexual assault victims are not afraid to report the incidents. Though she claims society has become more accepting along with the rise of the feminist movement, allegations of rape are still not taken seriously enough.

Ironically, the shift in attitude coincided with the earliest reported incidents against Cosby. The first took place in 1965 and involved Kristina Ruehli, then a 22-year-old secretary at a talent agency. Last year, she said in an interview with Philadelphia Magazine that she too, passed out after having a drink with Cosby. She awoke in his bed, where she maintains that he tried to force her to perform oral sex on him.

Cosby’s attorney has stated that although his client is facing a number of complaints, it doesn’t necessarily make them true.

One of the latest allegations against Cosby was made by a former Mrs. America who claimed Cosby lured her to a hotel room under the pretense of auditioning for a movie and then tried to kiss her before she pushed him away.

Lisa Christie claims the comedian lured her into a Chicago hotel room in 1989 on the pretense of giving her an audition for his movie “Ghost Dad.”

She claims Cosby told her, “Well, you’re never going to make it in this business unless you sleep with me.”

“And I responded, shame on you, mister father figure of America,” Christie said. “Your kids are older than I am.”

Christie said that was as far as the encounter went — far short of the drugging and sexual assaults other women have accused Cosby of carrying out.

Another new accuser, Pamela Abeyta, said she met Cosby in 1979 in Las Vegas when she was 25, and met him to discuss a chance to appear in Playboy magazine.

She said Cosby took her to a dinner show, and at some point she blacked out, awakening later naked in Cosby’s room, along with two other naked women.

She said she kept the encounter to herself for so long “because I believed it was my fault for putting myself in that position, and it took me many months to come forward because I was ashamed and it might cause shame to my family.”

“But then I realized I am a victim and how much this has bothered me all these years,” she said.

A third woman, Sharon Van Ert, said she met Cosby in 1976 while working as a waitress at a Redondo Beach jazz club. She said he walked her to her car one night after she had a few drinks, then he tried to assault her.

“I knew I was drugged because I threw up and I never threw up or drank too much,” she said.

She said she realized when she got home that her underwear was missing.

City News Service also contributed to this story.



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