US & Canada

Bill Cosby: No charges over 1974 sex offence allegations

Comedian Bill Cosby plays the vibraphone in Boston, Massachusetts (January 2006) Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The veteran star has so far not been charged with any crime

Charges will not be filed against comedian Bill Cosby over allegations that he sexually assaulted a teenage girl in 1974, US prosecutors say.

They cited the statute of limitations which restricts the length of time in which legal action can be taken after an alleged crime has been committed.

Judy Huth alleges that Mr Cosby molested her when she was 15 years old.

She is one of at least 15 women who since early November have alleged that Mr Cosby sexually assaulted them.

The comedian's lawyers have denied most of the allegations while dismissing others as either being discredited or decades old.

Most of the women concerned say that the comedian drugged them before assaulting them.

Ms Huth claimed that she was forced by Mr Cosby to perform a sex act on him at the Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles.

Image copyright AP
Image caption Judy Huth says that she had no further contact with Mr Cosby after he allegedly molested her in 1974

Mr Cosby's lawyer has accused her of trying to extort $250,000 from the star before she decided to sue - he also accused her of trying to sell her story to a tabloid a decade ago.

The actor has never been charged with a crime but the accusations have led to his stand-up tour being called off and the cancellation of a number of TV projects.

Earlier on Tuesday, Mr Cosby's wife Camille spoke for the first time to defend her "wonderful husband" against claims of sexual assault.

"He is the man you thought you knew," Mrs Cosby said in a statement.

Mrs Cosby, who has been married to the comedian for 50 years, said she continued to love the man she "fell in love with".

She suggested the media's portrayal of Cosby was a "portrait" of a man she "didn't know".

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