The opponent of Bruce Castor, the former district attorney in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, who is running again for his old job, has launched a television ad criticizing Castor for not prosecuting Bill Cosby in 2005.
The new 30-second television ad, from candidate Kevin Steele, is entitled “Tough.” It is currently airing in the Philadelphia market.
In the ad, Steele, currently Montgomery County’s first assistant district attorney, boasts of his office’s “98 percent conviction rate” and the “tough sentences for sexual predators” he has purportedly earned in his present position.
The ad then refers to Castor as “the former DA who refused to prosecute Bill Cosby,” and uses Castors own words against him by citing comments he has made to various news outlets about the case: “In Pennsylvania, we charge people for criminal conduct,” he told Bloomberg Politics in November 2014. “We don’t charge people for making a mistake or doing something foolish.”
Castor, now a Montgomery County commissioner, did not respond to a request for comment about the ad. Neither did Cosby’s attorney, Monique Pressley. Cosby’s other lawyer, Marty Singer, has denied all allegations of sexual assault against Cosby, saying in a statement last November that claims “about alleged decades-old events are becoming increasingly ridiculous.”
In February 2005, Castor announced he was not filing charges against Cosby for allegedly drugging and sexually assaulting former Temple employee Andrea Constand, citing “insufficient credible and admissible evidence,” even though nearly a dozen women had come forward to support her story.
Constand’s attorneys had said they had physical evidence to support the claims of one of those women.
Steele has not yet said what he would do with the case should he win the election, even while emphasizing in the ad that he doesn’t think Castor did enough when he had the chance the first time.
“Many more victims came forward,” the narrator says, “and Castor admitted he could have used their testimony against Cosby.” But Castor “didn’t even try,” the narrator adds.
“Bruce Castor is not looking out for the victims,” the ad concludes.
Last month, Constand’s attorneys from 2005, Dolores Troiani and her former law partner Bebe Kivitz, blasted Castor for comments he made about the case on his Twitter and Facebook pages.
In the posts, Castor linked to a Sept. 14, 2015 article in The Philadelphia Inquirer which noted that the statute of limitations for Constand’s case isn’t up until January 2016 and wrote: “Cosby victim told police much different than she told the court in her lawsuit. First I saw that in a story. Troublesome for the good guys. Not good.”
Troiani Kivitz immediately fired off an “open letter” to Castor demanding an apology and a retraction from the former prosecutor.
“The tweet can only be viewed as a defamatory comment as to the character of our client,” they wrote, according to a copy of the letter obtained by PEOPLE. “It appears that it is your intention to create an issue regarding our client’s credibility.”
Castor told the Inquirer he would not apologize to Constand.
“I don’t apologize for making decisions based upon the law and the evidence,” he told the paper. “Do I wish that there was evidence [in 2005] that would have supported the arrest of Cosby? Yeah.”