Former district attorney says Cosby should be shielded from prosecution

NORRISTOWN, Pa. -- The former district attorney who declined a decade ago to bring sex-crime charges against Bill Cosby testified Tuesday that he believes his decision is binding on his successors and forever closes the door on prosecuting the comedian.

See Full Article

Former Montgomery County District Attorney Bruce Castor took the stand as part of a bid by Cosby's lawyers to get the case thrown out because of what they said was a decade-old non-prosecution agreement from Castor.

The current district attorney has said there is no record of any such agreement.

Cosby, 78, was arrested and charged in December with drugging and violating former Temple University athletic department employee Andrea Constand at his suburban Philadelphia mansion in 2004. He could get up to 10 years in prison if convicted.

Castor said Tuesday that he found serious flaws in the case in 2005 and declined to bring charges. He said that he made the decision as a representative of the state -- as "the sovereign," as he put it, over and over -- and that it would last in perpetuity.

"For all time, yes," Castor said when pressed on the point.

And he suggested that Cosby and his lawyer at the time 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.

"Cosby would've had to have been nuts to say those things if there was any chance he could've been prosecuted," Castor said.

Castor said he hoped, correctly, at the time that the decision would free the comedian to testify in the lawsuit and help Constand win damages. She eventually settled for an undisclosed amount.

"I did not believe it was just to go forward with the criminal prosecution, but I wanted there to be some measure of justice" for Costand, Castor said.

He added: "I was hopeful that I had made Ms. Constand a millionaire."

He said he relayed word to Cosby's then-attorney, Walter Phillips, that Cosby would not be charged. However, Castor said the two lawyers did not have "an agreement" that Cosby would testify.

"Mr. Phillips never agreed to do anything in exchange for Mr. Cosby not being prosecuted," Castor said. "I thought making Mr. Cosby pay money was the best I was going to be able to set the stage for."

Phillips is now dead.

Kevin Steele, the newly elected DA who is pursuing the case, has said Cosby would need an immunity agreement in writing to get the case thrown out. He has said he has no evidence one exists.

In a barrage of allegations that have destroyed Cosby's image as America's Dad, dozens of women have accused the former TV star of drugging and sexually assaulting them since the 1960s. But this is the only case in which he has been charged.

Damaging testimony from Constand's lawsuit was unsealed last summer, prompting Castor's successors to reopen the case and ultimately charge Cosby.

Cosby admitted in the deposition that he had affairs with young models and actresses, that he obtained quaaludes to give to women he wanted to have sex with and that he gave Constand three pills at his home. He said he reached into her pants in what he insisted was consensual contact.

Castor defended his decision not to bring charges, testifying that he saw Constand's year-long delay in reporting the allegations, inconsistencies in her statements and her contact with a lawyer before going to police as red flags.

Castor said Constand's delay was of "enormous significance" in his consideration of the case. He said it thwarted his ability to test her hair or fingernails for evidence she was drugged.

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.

Anne Poulin, a law professor at Villanova University, said the defence has a high bar to meet to get the case thrown out early on. But "if they can win without this ever going to trial, then they've done their client a big service."

It was not immediately clear when Common Pleas Judge Steven T. O'Neill would rule.



Advertisements

Latest Entertainment News

  • Ken Burns, Trent Reznor teaming up for documentary on Vietnam War

    Entertainment CTV News
    PASADENA, Calif. -- Ken Burns and Trent Reznor would seem two unlikely collaborators, but both describe their recent work on the upcoming PBS documentary on the Vietnam War as among the most satisfying of their careers. Source
  • 'Meryl Streep complimented my mom at the Oscars': Ryan Gosling

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Ryan Gosling enlisted the help of Meryl Streep to make his mother feel better about her looks at the Oscars. The La La Land star recalled the sweet story on The Graham Norton Show, explaining he had taken his mother Donna and sister Mandi as his dates to the 2007 awards ceremony. Source
  • Miley Cyrus hands out marijuana party bags at birthday bash

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Miley Cyrus had a high old time at boyfriend Liam Hemsworth’s birthday bash on Friday, handing out Snoop Dogg’s brand of marijuana in party bags. The Australian actor celebrated his 27th birthday in Los Angeles with a crazy rap-themed party, organized by his 24-year-old girlfriend. Source
  • 'Inexperienced' thugs robbed Kim Kardashian according to leaked police statement

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    The thugs who bound and gagged Kim Kardashian in her Paris apartment during an October raid seemed “inexperienced”, according to the reality TV star. Masked robbers held the terrified star at gunpoint at the No Name Hotel and swiped with valuables worth more than $10 million. Source
  • Five most memorable presidential inauguration performances

    Entertainment CBC News
    In the days leading up to president-elect Donald Trump's inauguration on Jan. 20, there seems to be more talk of artists refusing to perform rather than accepting what has traditionally been an honour. Country singer Toby Keith is scheduled to perform at an event Thursday. Source
  • Documentary puts spotlight on PTSD

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Anyone can get post-traumatic stress disorder. Anyone. The fate of soldiers with PTSD occupies the headlines — as with Lionel Desmond’s case in Nova Scotia, or Fort Lauderdale airport shooting suspect Esteban Santiago — leading many to believe that the disorder is specific to the armed forces. Source
  • PETA hails demise of Ringling Bros. circus

    Entertainment CTV News
    PETA is calling the demise of the Ringling Bros. circus a death knell for other exotic animal acts, as public opinion and the march of time puts those old forms of entertainment out to pasture. Source
  • Bob Barker, PETA pleased by demise of Ringling Bros. circus

    Entertainment CTV News
    Gameshow host turned animal rights activist Bob Barker is among those celebrating the announcement that Ringling Bros. circus will close, although he says much more needs to be done for animals. “Most people do not want animals to suffer,” Barker told CTV News Channel on Sunday. Source
  • 'Hidden Figures' keeps orbit at top; Affleck, Scorsese flop

    Entertainment CTV News
    NEW YORK -- The crowd-pleasing NASA drama "Hidden Figures" has topped the box office for the second straight week, while a pair of high-priced prestige releases sputtered. Estimates on Sunday say "Hidden Figures," a tale about African-American mathematicians in the 1960s space race, sold $20.5 million in tickets in North American theatres over the Martin Luther King Jr. Source
  • Prince Charles co-authors a book on climate change

    Entertainment CTV News
    LONDON -- Penguin Books says Prince Charles has co-authored a book on climate change together with an environmentalist and a Cambridge scientist. The Prince of Wales, long a critic of man-made climate change, wrote the book "Climate Change" with Tony Juniper, a former Friends of the Earth director, and Emily Shuckburgh, a Cambridge University climate scientist. Source