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Bill Cosby Responds to Sex Assault Lawsuit With Demurrer

Embattled comedian Bill Cosby has responded to the lawsuit filed against him by a woman claiming Cosby sexually assaulted her at the Playboy Mansion in 1974.

In court documents filed Thursday in Los Angeles County Superior Court, Cosby demurred to the complaint, reports the Los Angeles Times. Cosby asserts that plaintiff Judy Huth and her attorney attempted to extort him prior to filing the lawsuit, the factual basis of which the documents characterize as "patently false."

What Is a Demurrer?

A demurrer is a response to a lawsuit in which the defendant alleges that the plaintiff failed to state facts sufficient to constitute a cause of action or failed to meet the legal requirements for an allegation to be made.

In his demurrer, Cosby challenges the factual basis of Huth's lawsuit, which alleges that Cosby provided alcohol to Huth, then 15 years old, and sexually molested her inside the Playboy Mansion. Cosby also challenges Huth's ability to file a lawsuit for an incident that occurred four decades ago.

Statute of Limitations

A statute of limitations is the time within which a claim for damages must be brought following the occurrence of an event.

Under the California Code of Civil Procedure, an action for the recovery of damages suffered as the result of childhood sexual abuse commence "within eight years of the date the plaintiff attains the age of majority or within three years of the date the plaintiff discovers or reasonably should have discovered that psychological injury or illness occurring after the age of majority was caused by the sexual abuse, whichever period expires later."

As the event in question occurred more than 40 years after the Huth turned 18, Cosby argues the suit should be barred. You may recall that in Huth's lawsuit, she claimed she'd only recently discovered that her psychological and physical injuries were caused by the abuse. However, Cosby's demurrer claims that Huth had tried to sell her story to tabloids nearly a decade ago, and that she had failed to submit documentation of the merit of her claims from a mental health practitioner as required by California law.

You can read Cosby's court filing in its entirety below.

Bill Cosby Responds to Sex Assault Lawsuit with Demurrer by FindLaw