Bill Cosby's Lawyer Files Motion to Dismiss Charges, Claims Prosecutor Is Politically Motivated; Prosecutor Says Motion 'Has No Merit'
Bill Cosby’s lawyer filed a motion on Monday to dismiss the aggravated indecent assault charges against Cosby, or, failing that, to disqualify the Montgomery County District Attorney’s office from prosecuting the case, according to a statement released Monday.
Attorney Monique Pressley claims that the Dec. 30 charges in Pennsylvania against Cosby “violate an express agreement” between Cosby and authorities, in which authorities agreed Cosby “would never be prosecuted with respect to the allegations of sexual assault made by complainant Andrea Constand.”
Constand was director of women’s operations for the Temple University women’s basketball team in January 2004 when, she alleges, Cosby gave her pills at his house and sexually abused her as she faded in and out of consciousness.
Constand went to authorities in January of 2005, but then-Montgomery County District Attorney Bruce L. Castor Jr. did not file criminal charges against Cosby.
Since then, more than 50 women have accused Cosby of drugging and/or sexually assaulting them. Cosby and his representatives have denied all of the allegations.
In 2006, Cosby and Constand agreed to a civil settlement after Constand sued him. Pressley’s statement today claims that authorities agreed to a “non-prosecution agreement” at that time “for the express purpose of inducing Mr. Cosby to testify fully in Ms. Constand’s civil litigation against him.”
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The statement adds: “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.”
After prosecutors charged Cosby, Montgomery County’s District Attorney Kevin Steele said that last summer’s release of Cosby’s deposition in Constand’s civil suit, in which Cosby admitted to giving quaaludes to women he wanted to have sex with, compelled the office to reopen the case.
Pressley’s statement claimed the charges against Cosby “should separately be dismissed on due process grounds because the over a decade delay in bringing these charges.”
It adds that if the charges are not dismissed, Cosby asks the court to disqualify Steele for what Pressley claims is his “intentional breach of the Commonwealth’s non-prosecution agreement.” The statement accuses Steele of using Cosby’s case “to advance Mr. Steele’s political ambitions by inflaming the public against Mr. Cosby.”
In a statement issued Tuesday, Steele said that his office is reviewing the motion and will file a response with the court.
Steele’s statement added, “We are not surprised by this filing, which has no merit. My office does not try any case in the court of public opinion. We try them in a court of law.”
Cosby is currently out on $1 million bail.
• With reporting by NICOLE WEISENSEE EGAN