Prosecutor Accuses Cosby’s Lawyer of Intimidation
A prosecutor seeking to bring forth charges in the sexual assault case against famed Comedian Bill Cosby argued that lawyers representing him are intimidating victims.
On Wednesday, with Cosby present, the issue of how to view the alleged victims exploded in court as prosecutors and defense attorneys went back and forth about how, when and whether many of those women should testify.
“This is another attempt to intimidate,” Montgomery County Dist. Atty. Kevin Steele said. He was referring to the defense’s decision to identify 13 of the purported Cosby victims whom Steele hopes to call as witnesses in the case brought forth by former Temple University employee Andrea Constand.
Steele also suggested the defense sought to demonize the women, or even scare them into not testifying.
“This is all [about] trying to get at people,” Steele said.
Shortly after, lead defense lawyer, Brian McMonagle, responded in defense of Cosby.
“People [once] had the presumption of innocence. But the pendulum has swung. I’ve never seen the pendulum swing so far. We started with the rape shield law to introduce evidence of accusers … and now we’re actually debating whether we can bring in 13 people who have nothing to do with Andrea Constand?”
The issue lies in whether the women can testify about their interactions with Cosby because together, their stories form a pattern of behavior that reinforces the charges brought forth against the entertainer.
There’s also more at stake.
Many of the women who have come forward are relying on the Constand trial, in which Cosby is charged with three counts of aggravated indecent assault over a 2004 incident in which he had sexual contact with Constand at his Pennsylvania home.
Nearly all of the women’s cases have exceeded the statue of limitations, and because of this, the women hope this case can bring them vindication, according to the Los Angeles Times.
This week, defense attorneys also pleaded for the suppression of evidence gathered from a civil lawsuit where Cosby admitted to buying drugs with the intent to have sex with women. They argued that he testified in that case only because he thought he wouldn’t be criminally prosecuted.
Cosby’s lawyers are also seeking to dismiss the case entirely. They content that by waiting 11 years to file charges, a key witness has died and Cosby has lost much of his eyesight, impeding a fair trial.
“We can’t test his memory because he can’t see,” attorney Angela Agrusa said.