An email may have put a spoke in the wheel of the Bill Cosby case for the prosecutors after the information in that email basically explains that Cosby’s own words in a deposition are off-limits in court. What Cosby said in that deposition cannot be used against him in a criminal case, via a promise made 10 years ago by a previous district attorney. In this deposition Cosby admitted to drugging women for the purpose of sleeping with them, which was the basis for reopening the case against Cosby in the first place.
According to DB Techno on January 17, what that email is describing basically blasts the case Cosby is facing today out of the water. The case centers around Andrea Constand, who claims Cosby assaulted her at her home back in 2004. Cosby always maintained that while he had extramarital affairs, they had always been consensual. This deposition appears to say differently and it is in Cosby’s own words, but it looks as though this deposition is in jeopardy of no longer being in play for this case.
Constand’s case was the center of the more than 50 women who claim they were drugged and assaulted by the comedian. Extra martial affairs are all that Cosby admits to, as far as claims of abuse and having sex with underage girls, he emphatically denies these allegations today. But back in that deposition in 2005, he said something different.
According to WTVR, in the 2005 deposition “Cosby admits he had sexual relationships with at least five women outside his marriage, gave prescription sedatives to women he wanted to have sex with and tried to hide affairs from his wife.” Cosby’s deposition is key to the criminal case.
Discovered by CNN, this email explained the possible problems with using that 2005 deposition in court today. It was written by a former Montgomery County district attorney Bruce Castor and sent in 2015. It was sent three months before criminal charges were filed against Cosby in this case.
This email describes the verbal agreement given to Cosby’s attorneys by the prosecutor in the 2005 civil sexual assault case. That promise was that the deposition will never be used against Cosby in a criminal case. Considering that this deposition was given as a reason to reopen the case against Cosby, this was the last thing the prosecution needed.
District Attorney Bruce Castor writes:
“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’s email continues:
“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.”
This sheds some light on the basis of Cosby’s lawyers filing the motion asking for all charges against Cosby be dismissed. This motion was filed earlier this week. The comedian’s attorneys released a statement pointing out that the charges were “illegally, improperly and unethically brought by District Attorney Kevin Steele and his office.”
The statement claims the charges “violate an express agreement made by the Montgomery County District Attorney in 2005, in which the Commonwealth agreed that Mr. Cosby would never be prosecuted with respect to the allegations of sexual assault made by complainant Andrea Constand.”
“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,” the attorneys said.
Steele plans to file a response to Cosby’s attorney’s motion to dismiss. On Friday Steele said that this motion has no merit. So why would this prosecutor ever give such a promise about future use of Cosby’s deposition being off-limits for use against him in a criminal complaint?
At the time it was basically done to set the stage for Constand’s civil suit against Cosby. CNN reports “Castor writes that his intent in making the deal was to create an atmosphere in which Cosby accuser Andrea Constand would have the best chance of prevailing in her civil suit against the 78-year-old comedian by removing the prospect of Cosby invoking his 5th Amendment right.” Such a tangled web was weaved to pave the way for a civil suit and that verbal agreement has now come back take a bite out of the criminal case.
Update: DB Techno reports:
There is a formal process to follow if it was the prosecutor’s intention to provide Cosby with immunity to facilitate his testimony in a civil case. That formal process includes written statements promising the immunity, but there wasn’t a written agreement in this case.
It sounds as if this handshake-like agreement won’t hold water in the courts after reading what L. George Perry, a former federal prosecutor in Philadelphia, had to say. Perry said:
“I’ve just never heard of a verbal side deal like what this guy is describing. Any defense lawyer who would enter into a verbal agreement like this without getting it in writing and signed by the District Attorney would have to have rocks in his head.”