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Cosby’s Lawyer Won Similar Rape Case Against Same Prosecutor
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Bill Cosby

Photo courtesy of the Montgomery County Office of the District Attorney

Summary: Bill Cosby’s defense attorney beat Cosby’s new prosecutor previously in a similar case, The Daily Beast reports.

Now that comedian Bill Cosby faces Andrea Constand’s accusations of sexual assault, the defense lawyer and prosecutor will oppose each other again, The Daily Beast reports. Cosby’s defense lawyer, Brian McMonagle, has once before defended a big name client accused of the same crimes as Cosby — drugging and assaulting a woman — against the same prosecutor that is now on this case, Kevin Steele, who is the new district attorney of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. McMonagle won his case that time and hopes to do it again.

  
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“I like battle, and I like competition,” said McMonagle in a TV ad for his firm. “When you hire us, you’ve hired someone who may not guarantee a win but will guarantee a war.”

McMonagle has gained a reputation with using aggressive tactics and often winning. He first worked as a courtroom prosecutor, moving into private practice to earn more money for his family.

Steele meanwhile climbed to district attorney by questioning the former district attorney’s 2005 decision not to prosecute Cosby. In fact, Castor’s softness in 2005 lead to a non-prosecution agreement between Cosby and Castor, which McMonagle hopes to use to dismiss the charges now.

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As there isn’t any physical evidence at this time to support Constand’s testimony, Steele hopes to use Cosby’s words against him when in 2005 he admitted to giving women drugs before having sex with them, though claiming it was consensual.

McMonagle hopes to bar this evidence from the civil suit as off limits to prosecution, as ex-DA Castor promised his office not to bring criminal charges against Cosby in return for the deposition.



“I can see no possibility that Cosby’s deposition could be used in a state criminal case, because I would have to testify as to what happened, and the deposition would be subject to suppression,” Castor said in an email to Steele’s predecessor as DA, according to a CNN report.

Steele counters that Castor’s verbal promise is not legally binding. “There is a specific legal method to grant immunity. That was not done in 2005,” Steele told CNN.

When McMonagle and Steele first faced each other over a sexual assault trial, Robert Kerns, the chairman of the Montgomery County Republican Party and partner at Kerns, Pearlstine, Onorato & Hladik law firm, was charged with aggravated indecent assault for allegedly drugging and raping a woman under his employment.

Kern had offered to give a 51-year-old paralegal a ride to the mall, but instead allegedly offered her a glass of wine laced with Ambien. The woman doesn’t recall too much of what happened next, but a medical staff performed a sexual-assault examination the next day and noticed the presence of man’s DNA and genital lacerations.

Nevertheless, no matter how damning the evidence looked, McMonagle hired two toxicologists to analyze the Ambien report and found an error in how it was reported, leading to the charges being dropped based on a technical error.

This time, Steele doesn’t even have physical evidence. Instead, he will rely on the testimony of as many as 50 women who will claim Cosby did the same thing to them as he did to Constand. Pennsylvania law lets “other crimes, wrongs or acts” act as “habit evidence” against defendants. McMonagle will have to attack the reliability of each of these witnesses, which won’t be an easy task.

“You have all these women coming forward, so it’s not just the credibility of one witness,” Michael Pileggi, a federal and criminal defense attorney, told The Daily Beast. “He’s got some mountain to climb, I’ll say that. He’s going to have to attack each and every witness.”

Source: The Daily Beast

Photo courtesy of the Montgomery County Office of the District Attorney



 

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