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Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Bill Cosby's Lawyers Working to Get Charges Thrown Out



Bill Cosby's Lawyers Push to Get Sexual Assault Case Thrown Out

Bill Cosby, 78, was arrested and charged in December with drugging and violating former Temple University athletic department employee Andrea Constand at his Philadelphia mansion in 2004. He could get up to 10 years in prison if convicted.
Former district attorney who declined to bring sex-crime charges against Bill Cosby, a decade ago, testified yesterday that he believes his decision is binding on his successors and forever closes the door on prosecuting the comedian.
Bruce Castor, Former Montgomery County District Attorney, took the stand as part of a bid by Cosby's lawyers to get the case thrown out because of what they say is a decade-old non-prosecution agreement from Castor.
The current district attorney has said there is no record of any such agreement.Castor said Tuesday that he found serious flaws in the case in 2005 and declined to bring charges. He said that he made the decision as a representative of the state — as "the sovereign," as he put it, over and over — and that it would last in perpetuity.
"For all time, yes," Castor said when pressed.
And he suggested that Cosby and his lawyer at the time had the same understanding, because Cosby later agreed to testify without invoking his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination in a lawsuit brought against him by Constand.
"Cosby would've had to have been nuts to say those things if there was any chance he could've been prosecuted," Castor said, referring to the damaging testimony unsealed last summer.
Castor said he hoped, correctly, at the time that the decision not to prosecute would free the comedian to testify in the lawsuit and help Constand win damages. She eventually settled for an undisclosed amount.
The former DA said he "wanted there to be some measure of justice" for Constand, explaining, "I thought making Mr. Cosby pay money was the best I was going to be able to set the stage for."
He added: "I was hopeful that I had made Ms. Constand a millionaire."
He said he relayed word to Cosby's then-attorney, Walter Phillips, that Cosby would not be charged. However, Castor said the two lawyers did not have "an agreement" that Cosby would testify in exchange for not being prosecuted. Phillips is now dead.
The newly elected DA, Kevin Steele, says Cosby would need an immunity agreement in writing to get the case thrown out. He has said he has no evidence one exists.
Cosby admitted in the deposition that he had affairs with young models and actresses, that he obtained quaaludes to give to women he wanted to have sex with and that he gave Constand three pills at his home. He said he reached into her pants but insisted it was consensual.

It was not immediately clear when Common Pleas Judge Steven T. O'Neill would rule.

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