BIll Cosby Heading to Trial
Bill Cosby’s criminal sexual-assault case is going to trial. A judge in Pennsylvania has ruled the charges against the comedian, relating to a decade-old trial, will stand following a two-day hearing.
Cosby struck a “no-prosecution” immunity deal back in 2005 with then-District Attorney Bruce Castor amid allegations he sexually abused ex-Temple University employee Andrea Constand at his home in 2004. That agreement has shielded him from prosecution until now. Prosecutors argued the deal was neither valid nor binding and called into question Castor’s credibility, while Cosby’s lawyers insisted prosecutors often make no-prosecution deals with defendants. “This prosecution should be stopped in its tracks,” Cosby’s lawyer Christopher Taybeck told the court on Wednesday. “When a prosecutor gives his word, that’s something that is enforceable.” Meanwhile, Dolores Troiani, Constand’s legal representative in the courtroom, testified on Wednesday, and revealed she had no knowledge of the no-prosecution deal until she read about it in a statement released by Castor. “I had to read her (Constand) this, and it was a very harsh statement.” Despite the outcome of the hearing, a frail Cosby was in good spirits as he was greeted by well-wishers outside the court in Norristown, Pennsylvania, giving them a thumbs up as he left. In her 2004 civil suit, Constand accused Cosby of drugging and raping her. She also tried to pursue Cosby on criminal charges in 2005, but Castor declined to prosecute due to lack of evidence. According to his testimony on Tuesday, Castor believed Constand had been molested by Cosby but feared he couldn’t prove it a year after the alleged crime. He also confessed to having doubts about Constand’s credibility. Cosby has been accused of rape, drugging, and performing inappropriate sex acts by over 50 women in the past 18 months. The comic, who has never been charged in relation to any of the decades-old incidents, maintains he is innocent.