Defense attorneys for Bill Cosby are moving forward with a motion to throw out the criminal case against Bill Cosby in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, due to the actions of two different District Attorneys.
Though scores of women this past year have come forward with accusations of sexual misconduct against the once-beloved comedian, this is the only criminal case in which Bill Cosby has been charged. Those charges are likely to be thrown out, however, due to the actions of one District Attorney in 2005, as well as those of the current D.A., who has recently taken office.
In 2005, Montgomery County District Attorney Bruce Castor did not bring criminal charges against Bill Cosby when Andrea Constand accused him of drugging her and taking sexual liberties because there was insufficient evidence to successfully prosecute the case.
Instead, Castor promised Bill Cosby and the Cosby lawyers that he would never face criminal charges for the Andrea Constand case if he would agree to testify in a civil sexual assault lawsuit brought by Constand. Bill Cosby was promised that information from the civil deposition would never be used against him in a criminal case. According to CNN, Castor’s intentions were to give Andrea the best chance of resolving the case to her satisfaction by removing Bill Cosby’s right to plead the Fifth Amendment, which would free him from the burden of incriminating himself.
— Anderson Cooper 360° (@AC360) January 16, 2016
Bill Cosby’s attorneys claim that the promise renders the Cosby deposition from the 2005 lawsuit inadmissible, and it appears that former D.A. Castor agrees. In an email to his successor, former District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman, who served until November of last year, Castor explains that the deposition could not be used to incriminate Bill Cosby.
“I can see no possibility that Cosby’s deposition could be used in a state criminal case, because I would have to testify as to what happened, and the deposition would be subject to suppression.
“I cannot believe any state court judge would allow that deposition into evidence… Knowing this, unless you can make out a case without that deposition and without anything the deposition led you to, I think Cosby would have an action against the County and maybe even against you personally.”
The entire case revolves around the deposition, and without it prosecutors would have a very weak case.
Current District Attorney Kevin Steele has also been targeted by the Bill Cosby defense lawyers because he used the Cosby case to further his political career. Attorneys Brian McMonagle and Monique Pressley assert Steele’s use of information from the Cosby case to win the election was unethical and should not have been allowed. They are calling for Steele to be removed from the Bill Cosby case, reports Mainline Media News.
“During his recent campaign, Mr. Steele used TV ads, public statements, and flyers referring to Mr. Cosby as a ‘sexual predator’ and lambasting ‘his opponent’s failure to prosecute Bill Cosby.’
“Although Pennsylvania ethical rules clearly prohibit such public statements by prosecutors, the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office did nothing to stop Mr. Steele’s improper use of Mr. Cosby as a tool for political gain. On the contrary, the office tacitly endorsed Mr. Steele’s inflammatory accusations, stating in response to media inquiries that old decisions of non-prosecution are being re-evaluated…”
Order setting hearing re Habeas Petition and Motion to Disqualify DA for Feb. 2. Preliminary Hearing continued. pic.twitter.com/NooGEsdIEd
— Monique Pressley (@MoniquePressley) January 14, 2016
The Pennsylvania Rule of Professional Conduct states a prosecutor must “refrain from making extrajudicial comments that have a substantial likelihood of heightening public condemnation of the accused.” Kevin Steele blatantly ignored that rule.
Bill Cosby may not have to face any criminal charges, after all, due to the actions of two very different district attorneys. What do you think this means for the case? Should Bill Cosby have to appear in court, regardless of the 2005 non-prosecution agreement? Share your opinions here.
[Photo via mpi04/MediaPunch/AP]