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Bill Cosby Tries Again to Get Criminal Charges Dismissed
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Summary: Bill Cosby’s legal team has attempted again to get his sexual assault charges dropped.

Bill Cosby returned to the courthouse in Philadelphia today for the latest hearing in his ongoing criminal saga. The formerly beloved entertainer has been accused of rape by dozens of women since the 1960s, but he faces only one criminal charge that stems from an alleged sexual assault in 2004.

  
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Cosby met accuser Andrea Constand, now 43, while she was an employee at his alma mater, Temple University. Constand said that in 2004, he invited her to his home, where he drugged and raped her. Immediately after the alleged incident, she had filed a complaint to the district attorney at that time, but the D.A. told her there was not enough evidence to pursue a case. Constand ended up settling a civil complaint with Cosby for an undisclosed sum.

In recent years, the rape accusations against Cosby, 79, have resurfaced, and current Philadelphia prosecutor Kevin Steele publicly vowed to go after Cosby. While Cosby faces civil lawsuits from other alleged victims, Constand’s is the only criminal case that fit in the statute of limitations.

Cosby’s defense team, which is headed by Brian McMonagle of Philadelphia’s McMonagle, Perri, McHugh & Mischak, said that Steele is using this case as a platform, not to actually try the charge at hand.

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“In fact, the Commonwealth has chosen to turn this case into a platform for Mr. Cosby’s other accusers to air their even staler, long-ago, time-barred claims that were never reported to authorities,” Cosby’s lawyers argued in court documents. “The Commonwealth’s choices about how to prosecute this case, combined with its lengthy delay in bringing charges, impose an impossible burden on Mr. Cosby.”

USA Today reports that during this current hearing Cosby’s team asked Montgomery County judge Steven O’Neill to dismiss the sexual assault charges against him. Two of the arguments that the defense had is that the damning deposition that was unsealed recently should not be allowed to be used and that Cosby’s “prior bad acts,” i.e. the statements from 13 women who say he raped them, should not be brought up.



In the unsealed deposition, Cosby admitted that he used drugs such as quaaludes to have sex with women. His defense team said those statements were erroneously unsealed.

The prosecution argues that Constand’s story is similar to those of other alleged victims, and they seek to show that Cosby has a pattern of assaulting women.

Cosby has consistently denied the charges, stating that the sex was consensual. According to USA Today, his legal team wants to challenge the mental competency of the accusers the prosecution wants to call to the stand. The defense argues that those women are seniors with tainted memories.

This is not the first time Cosby’s team has tried to dismiss this case. At a previous hearing, they stated that the case should be dismissed because Constand did not show up to testify. They said that Cosby had the right to face his accuser, but that request was denied because the judge said Pennsylvania allowed hearsay testimony to be used in preliminary hearings.

Cosby’s trial is set for June 2017.

Source: USA Today



 

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