prosecutors to challenge Cosby on sex assault charge
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[February 03, 2016]
By Daniel Kelley
NORRISTOWN, Pa. (Reuters) -
Bill Cosby will face a challenge on Wednesday from
Pennsylvania prosecutors, who have charged him with
sexually assaulting a woman a decade ago and are denying
the comedian's claim that he cannot be prosecuted for
the alleged crime.
More than 50 women have accused the 78-year-old entertainer,
who made a long career based on family-friendly comedy, of
sexually assaulting them in attacks dating back to the 1960s.
Many of the incidents are far too old to prosecute and the
Pennsylvania case is the only incident for which Cosby has been
Defense attorneys on Tuesday presented a 2005 press release from
Castor's office that they said represented a non-prosecution
agreement. Prosecutors on Wednesday are expected to begin making
their case that there was no binding agreement not to bring
A former Montgomery County District Attorney, Bruce Castor,
testified as a defense witness on Tuesday that he had declined
to bring charges in 2005 that Cosby had assaulted Andrea
Constand because he did not consider her case "viable."
Castor said he believed Constand's charges but thought a jury
would view her as less than credible because she had waited a
year to bring charges and had hired a lawyer to look into a
civil suit against Cosby.
He said that declining to prosecute Cosby set the stage for a
civil deposition in which the entertainer admitted to giving
Constand the anti-allergy drug Benadryl before a sexual
encounter he described as consensual.
Constand, now 44, said Cosby plied her with alcohol and drugs
before raping her.
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Marci Hamilton, a professor at New York's Cardozo School of Law,
said the series of civil lawsuits by women accusing Cosby of sex
assault could actually make it easier for prosecutors to bring their
"The remarkable similarity of the pattern over the course of all
those years, that is evidence that may well be relevant in this
case," Hamilton said. "While that can't be the basis for their legal
reasoning, they know as a practical matter that what they definitely
don't have in front of them is one woman in a he-said, she-said
Dressed in a dark brown suit, walking with a cane and flanked by
attorneys and what appeared to be a security guard, Cosby sat
stonily during Tuesday's proceeding and did not speak.
(Writing by Scott Malone; Editing by Andrew Hay)
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