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Bill Cosby Scandal

DA Declines to Charge Bill Cosby in Alleged 1974 Sex Assault at Playboy Mansion

Bill Cosby’s daughter defends her dad 1:01

Saying the statute of limitations had long ago expired on a woman’s claim that Bill Cosby sexually assaulted her at the Playboy Mansion in 1974, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office on Tuesday declined to file charges against the embattled comedian.

In a statement, prosecutors said that if the alleged crime had been committed after Jan. 1, 1994, they could charge the 77-year-old Cosby with performing a lewd or lascivious act on a minor, as that law allows for an extension of the statute of limitations for certain sex crimes to one year from the date the alleged victim contacted law enforcement.

But since the “most appropriate” statute on the books at the time of the alleged assault was “annoying or molesting a child under 18, a misdemeanor,” the prosecutors said they were barred from charging Cosby “because it would serve to impermissibly ‘revive’ a previously time-barred prosecution, in violation of the ex post facto clause of the United States Constitution.”

Camille Cosby: Bill is a kind, generous man 2:28

Judy Huth, who was 15 at the time of the alleged assault, is suing Cosby, alleging that he served alcohol to her and a 16-year-old friend and then later molested her during a gathering at the Playboy Mansion.

Her attorney, Gloria Allred, said in a statement that she anticipated the decision by the district attorney not to file charges against Cosby.

“We are glad that the detectives investigated Ms. Huth’s claims," Allred said. "We anticipated before she reported to the police that the district attorney might not be able to prosecute because the statute of limitations in California would bar such a prosecution. It is our understanding that the decision not to prosecute was based on the statute of limitations and not on the merits of Ms. Huth’s claims.”

Marty Singer, an attorney for Cosby, did not immediately respond to emails from NBC News requesting comment.

In her lawsuit, Huth, who is now 55, stated that the "traumatic incident" left her psychologically and emotionally scarred, though she only recently realized the source of her trauma. She said she "suffered damages that are substantial and continuing."

Related

Bill Cosby's Wife Camille Defends Him Against Sex Assault Claims

In recent weeks, some 20 other women have come forward to accuse Cosby of sexual assault — charges which began to surface a decade ago when the former director of operations for Temple's women's basketball team sued him for drugging her and assaulting her in 2004.

Follow NBC News Investigations on Twitter and Facebook.

The comedian has not been criminally charged and many of the claims are so old, they are barred from being prosecuted by statutes of limitations.

Meanwhile, Cosby's daughter, Evin, on Tuesday gave a statement to Access Hollywood defending her father.

"He is the FATHER you thought you knew. The Cosby Show was my today's tv reality show. Thank you. That's all I would like to say :)," the statement from the 38-year-old reads.