Bill Cosby’s lawyer filed a motion to dismiss the charges against him or disqualify the district attorney.
The Bill Cosby legal drama just took a turn in an unexpected, and potentially complicated, direction.
Cosby’s lawyer, Monique Pressley, filed a motion on Monday, Jan. 11 to dismiss the aggravated indecent assault charges against Cosby or, in a worst case scenario, have the Montgomery County district attorney’s office disqualified from prosecuting the case. Pressley may actually have a legally valid point.
Pressley claims that the Dec. 30 charges against Cosby “violate an express agreement” between Cosby and the Pennsylvania authorities. In 2006, the Montgomery County district attorney agreed that Cosby “would never be prosecuted with respect to the allegations of sexual assault made by complainant Andrea Constand.”
In January 2004, Constand was director of women’s operations for the Temple University women’s basketball team. She alleges that Cosby gave her pills at his house and sexually abused her while she faded in and out of consciousness.
In January 2005, Constand went to authorities, but then-Montgomery County district attorney Bruce L. Castor Jr. did not file criminal charges against Cosby.
In 2006, Constand sued Cosby. As part of the case, Pressley asserts that Cosby agreed to give a deposition after authorities agreed to a “non-prosecution agreement.” In the deposition, Cosby admitted to giving Quaaludes to women he wanted to have sex with. Cosby and Constand agreed to a civil settlement and no charges were filed against Cosby, as per his agreement with authorities.
In the summer of 2015, more than 50 women came forward with allegations of sexual assault against Cosby. The new district attorney of Montgomery County, Kevin Steele, reopened the case against Cosby after the release of the deposition Cosby gave in Constand’s case.
In Pressley’s statement, she said: “Now, to fulfill campaign promises, the newly-elected District Attorney has repudiated the agreement and has based these criminal charges on the very testimony Mr. Cosby gave in reliance on the Commonwealth’s non-prosecution agreement.”
It adds that if the charges are not dismissed, Cosby asks the court to disqualify Steele for what Pressley claims is his “intentional breach of the Commonwealth’s non-prosecution agreement.” The statement accuses Steele of using Cosby’s case “to advance Mr. Steele’s political ambitions by inflaming the public against Mr. Cosby.”
What does this mean in regular people terms? Basically, Cosby’s lawyer is saying that he agreed to testify if he wouldn’t be prosecuted. An agreement was made and Cosby testified. Now, the new district attorney is trying to use this testimony to prosecute Cosby. It’s a legal version of welching on a bet.
What’s unclear is if this agreement is in writing and can easily be shown in court. If Cosby’s lawyer can present it or the former district attorney has a record of it, then Cosby actually has a legal point. The testimony wouldn’t be able to be used as evidence in the case. If they don’t have anything else that’s compelling, then the case would have to be dismissed.
What’s clear is that this case is definitely going to be complicated and Cosby is going to put up a big fight.