Bill Cosby returned to court in Pennsylvania today (July 7) in a bid to quash a criminal trial stemming from his alleged 2004 sexual assault of Andrea Constand. At the time, she worked at Cosby’s alma mater Temple University in Philadelphia.
Cosby, now 78, and his lawyer, Christopher Tayback, appeared before Montgomery County (Pa) Judge Steven O’Neill seeking to dismiss charges or force Constand to testify, according to media reports.
Update: Judge O’Neill has denied Cosby’s motion to compel Constand’s testimony in a preliminary hearing before his criminal sex assault case goes to trial. Cosby had sought the hearing or dismissal of charges, according to the AP.
Constand, now 43, was a no-show, drawing protests from Tayback. He told the judge she should be required to testify at a preliminary hearing.
Instead, Montgomery County Prosecutor Kevin Steele called two police officers who initially investigated Constand’s complaint in 2005. They testified as to the facts in her 11-year-old statement.
Tayback argued Cosby was being denied his right to confront his accuser and called the testimony “hearsay.”
“It’s a statement that on its face begs more questions than it answers,” he told the judge.
Steele argued that he did not want to “re-traumatize” Constand by forcing her to testify.
At the time of the alleged assault, Constand was director of operations for the Temple women’s basketball team. Cosby was a major donor, who visited the school often. He also had a house in Philadelphia.
Prosecutors declined to bring charges when she initially complained to police.
But Steele last December charged the comedian with one count of aggravated indecent assault, a felony.
Steele joined the office in 1995 and rose to become first assistant district attorney. He was elected District Attorney in Nov. 2015. He took office in January.
According to testimony from her 2005 civil suit, Constand said Cosby invited her to his house. He gave her three blue pills after she complained about being stressed.
He claimed the pills were “herbal medication” to help her relax, she added.
After taking them, she testified, her “knees began to shake, her limbs felt immobile, she felt dizzy and weak and she began to feel only barely conscious.”
Cosby allegedly gave her another drug, led her to a sofa and sexually molested her. After she regained consciousness, Constand said her “clothes and undergarments were in disarray,” according to court papers.
Her civil suit was settled out of court in 2006 for an undisclosed amount. Under terms of the settlement, Cosby contends he was promised no criminal charges would be forthcoming.
The files were sealed afterward, but released to the public last year.
Cosby admitted in a deposition that he plied women with drugs so he could have sex with them. But he insisted his relationship with Constand was consensual.
More than 50 women have come forward in the past 18 months to detail similar allegations against the once-beloved comedian over the course of his career. Cosby has steadfastly denied the charges.
Many of the women said they remained silent for years because of Cosby’s stature. No criminal charges were filed against him until Steele brought his case just as the statute of limitations was nearing an end.
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