Criminal Case Against Bill Cosby Moves Forward

On February 3, 2016, in Norristown Pennsylvania, a judge denied Bill Cosby’s motion to dismiss criminal charges against him. The newly elected Montgomery County District Attorney, Kevin Steele, has filed three felony charges of second-degree aggravated indecent assault based upon the allegations from Andrea Constand. She claims she was sexually assaulted by Cosby in 2004. If Cosby is convicted he faces up to 10 years in prison and along with civil fines in State of Pennsylvania.

The motion to dismiss is based upon former District Attorney Bruce Castor’s verbally immunity given to Cosby in 2005. Castor admitted that made a decision over ten years ago not prosecute Cosby, if he would speak freely during the civil deposition in the Constand case. Cosby has relied upon this immunity to his own detriment.

According to the current D.A. Steele, the District Attorney’s office is not bound by this deal because it was never put in writing. Furthermore, “It was a secret agreement that permits a wealthy defendant to buy his way out of a criminal case… There is no legal authority allowing a District Attorney to unilaterally confer transactional immunity on a defendant.” Christopher Tayback, Cosby’s attorney, responded with “A promise is a promise…[t]he current District Attorney is trying to get out from underneath that promise.”

During the proceedings, Cosby’s former lawyer John P. Schmitt testified that he knew about the 2005 deal from Castor and it was his belief that Cosby could never be criminally prosecuted because Cosby testified in the civil action. The recent unsealing of the 2005 deposition in Constand case demonstrates that Cosby had a proclivity toward using Quaaludes to have sex with women. Castor testified, “[M]y choices were to leave the case open and hope it got better…[O]r definitively close the case and allow the civil court to provide redress to Ms. Constand.” Castor further admitted that “[He] was hopeful that [he] had made Ms. Constand a millionaire.” Constand’s case was settled in 2006. Clearly, Castor elected not to pursue a criminal case, so the victim could proceed in her civil case for financial gain. What do you think of his choices?

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