Cosby: 2nd Lawsuit Could Be Dropped Soon
A suburban Philadelphia judge might decide whether to dismiss a sexual assault case against actor Bill Cosby over an unwritten promise of immunity a former prosecutor says he gave Cosby’s now-deceased lawyer a decade ago.
The 78-year-old actor and comedian was arrested and charged in December with drugging and violating Andrea Constand, a former Temple University employee, at his suburban Philadelphia mansion in 2004.
He could get up to 10 years in prison if convicted.
Tuesday’s proceedings left Judge Steven T. O’Neill puzzled over the testimony of former Montgomery County District Attorney Bruce Castor as he wrapped up his defense. The proceedings resume Wednesday morning.
Castor, who claims to have knowledge of the granted promise of immunity, said he found serious flaws in the case in 2005 and declined to bring charges. He said he steered the matter to civil court so Constand could become “a millionaire.” But he also maligned her credibility throughout the day and questioned whether she and her mother set out to extort Cosby.
Cosby’s then-attorney, Walter Phillips, died last year.
According to Castor, his top assistant, Risa Vetri Ferman, who later succeeded him and is now a county judge, told Phillips that Cosby would not be charged. However, Castor said the two lawyers did not have “an agreement” that Cosby would testify in exchange for not being prosecuted.
Castor suggested that Cosby and Phillips had the same understanding, because Cosby later agreed to testify without invoking his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination in a lawsuit brought against him by Constand.
Still, Castor said, he investigated the case thoroughly because he wanted to show authorities in Constand’s native Canada that celebrities don’t get preferential treatment in America.
On Tuesday, Chloe Goins dropped her sexual assault suit against Cosby. No explanation was provided for Goins’ sudden change of direction.
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