(Philadelphia) An accuser of Bill Cosby filed a lawsuit Thursday against the actor over a meeting in a hotel room in 1990 in Atlantic City, New Jersey, before the state’s two-year period for filing expired years of sexual assault prosecutions.
Los Angeles artist Lili Bernard told The Associated Press she was motivated in part by Bill Cosby’s recent release from prison.
Cosby, 84, has been free since June when the Pennsylvania Supreme Court overturned his 2018 sexual assault conviction in another case on procedural grounds.
He had served more than two years of a potential 10-year sentence.
Lili Bernard, 57, claims Bill Cosby drugged and raped her in a hotel room after promising to mentor her and help her appear on a popular TV show. She was 26 at the time.
New Jersey’s two-year window for filing sexual assault lawsuits that would otherwise be considered too old ends next month.
“When Bill Cosby was released it traumatized me, it terrified me. I was really horrified for any woman or girl who came into contact with him, Lili Bernard told the AP. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has let a predator return to the streets. ”
The Pennsylvania trial judge had classified Bill Cosby as a sexually violent predator under lifetime surveillance, but that finding became irrelevant when the conviction was overturned.
Spokesman for Bill Cosby said so-called “look back” windows like the one adopted in New Jersey violate a person’s due process rights.
“This is just another attempt to abuse legal process, opening the floodgates for people who have never presented any evidence,” spokesman Andrew Wyatt said, noting that Cosby maintains his innocence. and would fight the allegations in “the highest court in the United States of America.”
Prosecutors in a Philadelphia suburb are due to decide soon whether to appeal the overturned conviction in their case to the United States Supreme Court.
A jury found Cosby guilty of sexually assaulting Temple University women’s basketball coach Andrea Constand at her home in January 2004 after drugging her with three blue pills. Bill Cosby was arrested in 2015, days before the 12-year limitation period expired.
The state Supreme Court said the case should not have been tried because Bill Cosby thought a former prosecutor had promised him he would never be charged.
Bill Cosby settled the civil lawsuit with Andrea Constand for $ 3.4 million. Her insurer, after conviction, settled a defamation claim filed by seven accusers in Massachusetts for an undisclosed amount.
The PA generally does not identify people who say they have been sexually assaulted without their permission.
Andrea Constand and Lili Bernard have granted their permission.