The Bill Cosby email, written by former District Attorney Bruce Castor to succeeding DA Risa Vetri Ferman, describes a verbal agreement between the prosecutor and Cosby that if he testified in his 2005 civil sexual assault case regarding his accuser Andrea Constand, his testimony could not be used in a criminal case. There is no time limit to the agreement, meaning that the criminal case against Bill Cosby is in jeopardy.
“The email was sent three months before criminal charges were filed against Cosby in Montgomery County in December, and could call into question the viability of the case,” reports CNN on January 16. Of course, Cosby’s attorneys will hold the new district attorney accountable for the former DA’s verbal agreement and argue that a criminal case against the now 78-year-old comedian has to be thrown out because of his cooperation in Andrea Constand’s civil sexual assault case.
“This agreement, made for the express purpose of inducing Mr. Cosby to testify fully in Ms. Constand’s civil litigation against him, led Mr. Cosby to give deposition testimony in 2005 and 2006 without invocation of his Constitutional rights against self-incrimination. 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,” stated Cosby’s attorneys.
Andrea Constand, a former Temple University employee, had accused Cosby in 2004 of having drugged and fondled her in 1994. Constand brought her case to the prosecutor shortly before the 10 year statue ran out. After the Montgomery County’s District Attorney dismissed the charge due to a lack of “credible and admissible evidence,” Constand filed a civil suit against the comedian. The official charge brought against Cosby was “first-degree aggravated indecent assault,” including “penetration without the consent of his victim.” The case was settled out of court leaving Constand with “monetary” justice.
The deposition that Cosby gave in Andrea Constand’s civil suit is a key piece of evidence, according to prosecutors, for reopening the criminal case against Cosby. Without that evidence, a criminal case against Cosby might be impossible.
The email from Castor to Ferman stated in part:
“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. I cannot believe any state court judge would allow that deposition into evidence… Knowing this, unless you can make out a case without that deposition and without anything the deposition led you to, I think Cosby would have an action against the County and maybe even against you personally.”
Current District Attorney Kevin Steele, who was elected in November after serving as Ferman’s longtime top deputy, commented that the verbal agreement might not hold up in court. “There is a specific legal method to grant immunity. That was not done in 2005.”
However, based on the email, Bill Cosby’s lawyers have already filed a motion for the criminal case against the comedian to be dismissed. The charges against Cosby were “illegally, improperly and unethically brought by Kevin Steele and his office.”
A Common Pleas Court judge will decide whether the verbal agreement described in the email existed and – if it did — whether it protects Cosby from the three counts of aggravated indecent assault filed against him last month. “Cosby’s lawyers have suggested that Castor will be a key defense witness at a Feb. 2 hearing at which they hope to have the case against Cosby thrown out.”