Bill Cosby does not have to give more sworn testimony in a Southern California woman's sexual battery lawsuit to give the comedian time to resolve a criminal case, a judge ruled Wednesday.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Craig D. Karlan said a temporary delay in the case is justified but he is concerned about it being put on hold indefinitely. His ruling will allow attorneys to conduct depositions of other potential witnesses, including Playboy founder Hugh Hefner.
The move comes in a lawsuit by Riverside County resident Judy Huth, who accuses Cosby of forcing her to perform a sex act on him in a bedroom of the Playboy Mansion around 1974 when she was 15.
Attorneys for Cosby had sought a delay in the lawsuit because the 78-year-old has been charged with sex assault in Pennsylvania. That case is on hold while Cosby appeals a ruling.
Cosby gave his first sworn testimony in the case last year, but a judge has ordered him to answer additional questions from Huth's attorney, Gloria Allred.
Karlan ruled that Huth also would not be required to give sworn testimony during the temporary delay.
"I don't want this case to be here three, four, five years from now. That's not justice," Karlan said.
Cosby's attorney, Christopher Tayback, said the comedian is trying to resolve the Pennsylvania case quickly.
"My hope is in six months, he's exonerated," Tayback said.
Allred mentioned Hefner's name as a potential witness after thanking the judge for allowing attorneys to seek additional evidence. Allred said she and partner John West also planned to take the depositions of other women who say they were abused by Cosby when they were underage.
Cosby's former attorney has vehemently denied Huth's accusations, accusing her former lawyer of attempting to extort Cosby for $250,000 before suing.
Dozens of women have accused Cosby of sexual abuse, but the statutes of limitations in most instances have passed. Cosby has repeatedly denied all allegations of sexual misconduct.
A judge rejected a motion by Cosby's lawyers on Tuesday to dismiss a defamation lawsuit by model Janice Dickinson. Cosby's lawyers say they believe the case should be dismissed and are considering an appeal.