Bill Cosby assault case: Former DA testifies in court
Famed comedian Bill Cosby arrived at Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, court today in an attempt to dismiss the charge of aggravated indecent assault that First Assistant District Attorney Kevin Steele charged him with last December. Cosby, 78, has denied any wrongdoing.
Cosby, dressed in a brown suit, was flanked by security as he entered the court around 9 a.m. this morning. Judge Steven O’Neill denied the prosecution’s request to postpone or shut down the hearing.
The comedian’s legal team was allowed to call its first witness, Bruce Castor, the former Montgomery County DA. Castor claims he made an oral agreement not to criminally prosecute Cosby on a case stemming from a decade-old claim involving accuser and former Temple University employee Andrea Constand.
Castor explained why he didn’t bring criminal charges against Cosby in 2005: it took Constand almost a year to come forward; the inability to collect forensic evidence; the fact that Constand contacted a civil lawyer in Philadelphia before going to police in Canada to file a report.
Cosby and Constand eventually settled a civil lawsuit.
Constand said she and Cosby became friends while she worked at Temple more than a decade ago. She alleged that Cosby invited her to his home, where he made two sexual advances despite her rebuffs. She also claimed the comedian gave her pills and wine, which made her unresponsive and unable to move. At that point, she claims Cosby sexually assaulted her.
U.S. District Judge Eduardo Robreno unsealed Cosby’s deposition in the Constand civil case last year, which brought new information to light, including Cosby’s admission that he gave Quaaludes to one woman in the past.
When Cosby was charged late last year, First Assistant District Attorney Kevin Steele said, “We examined all the evidence and we made this determination because it was the right thing to do.”
Cosby’s attorney, Monique Pressley, previously responded to the charge in a statement to ABC News.
“The charge by the Montgomery County District Attorney’s office came as no surprise, filed 12 years after the alleged incident and coming on the heels of a hotly contested election for this county’s DA during which this case was made the focal point,” she said. “Make no mistake, we intend to mount a vigorous defense against this unjustified charge and we expect that Mr. Cosby will be exonerated by a court of law.”
Cosby has been accused by dozens of women of sexual misconduct over the past two years. Cosby fired back in early December, filing a countersuit for defamation against seven women who previously accused him of sexual misconduct. After the suit was filed, Pressley said in a statement that the women have made “malicious, opportunistic and false and defamatory” comments about him.