Judge Steven O'Neill of the Court of Common Pleas in
Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, ruled on Monday that
prosecutors can introduce potentially damaging sworn testimony
the 79-year-old entertainer gave about his sexual history during
a civil case in 2005.
The testimony, in which Cosby acknowledged giving young women
Quaaludes before engaging in what he described as consensual
sexual acts with them, helped persuade the Montgomery County
district attorney to file charges after it was unsealed in 2015
by a federal judge.
Cosby, the star of the 1980s television hit "The Cosby Show,"
has seen his once family-friendly reputation buried under a
blizzard of sexual assault accusations from around 50 women
going back decades. The Pennsylvania case is the only criminal
prosecution he faces, though he has been hit with multiple civil
Andrea Constand, a former basketball coach at Cosby's alma mater
of Temple University, first accused Cosby in 2005 of giving her
unspecified pills and then assaulting her at his home a year
Cosby's lawyers had argued that the district attorney at the
time, Bruce Castor, had promised Cosby he would not prosecute if
Cosby agreed to testify under oath in Constand's civil lawsuit.
The deal was intended to give Constand some measure of justice,
since a criminal case could not be supported by the evidence,
according to Castor, who testified at a hearing this year.
But O'Neill ruled that Castor's account was inconsistent and
said no written evidence of a non-prosecution deal exists.
"Because there was no promise, there can be no reliance on the
part of the Defendant and principles of fundamental fairness and
due process have not been violated," he wrote.
A spokesman for Cosby declined to comment.
O'Neill has scheduled a two-day hearing next week to address
various pending pretrial matters, including a request from
prosecutors to call as trial witnesses more than a dozen other
women who have leveled assault accusations against Cosby.
(Reporting by Joseph Ax; Editing by Scott Malone and Grant
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