Judge Determines Former DA's Promise Not Legally Binding
A Pennsylvania judge has just ruled that the criminal sexual assault case against Bill Cosby can proceed. Montgomery County Judge Steven T. O'Neill Wednesday evening decided that a former prosecutor's promise to Cosby was not legally binding, and that the prosecutor could even have brought charges back in 2004.
At issue is the promise made by former Montgomery County District Attorney Bruce L. Castor, Jr. to not charge Cosby in exchange for the 78-year old actor and comedian's testimony.
Now Judge O'Neill will determne whether the D.A.'s office that filed charges against Cosby in December will be able to prosecute the case. District Attorney Kevin Steele ran for office on the promise to prosecute Cosby.
Judge in Cosby hearing said if he does not dismiss the case, we'll stay tonight for arguments on whether to disqualify Montco DA's office.— Laura McCrystal (@LMcCrystal) February 3, 2016
Steele told the court today that a "secret agreement that permits a wealthy defendant to buy his way out of a criminal case isn't right."
"A promise of a prosecutor- even an oral promise -is one that is absolute, 100 percent enforceable," Cosby attorney Christopher Tayback responded.
Philly.com reports the judge "offered a glimpse of another strategy Cosby's lawyers may consider in an attempt to blunt the charges. He said if the case moves toward a trial, they could move to suppress the 2006 deposition, portions of which were released last summer and became a building block in the current case. In it, Cosby acknowledges acquiring quaaludes with the intent of using them in consensual sexual encounters with women."
On Tuesday another Cosby accuser dropped her civil complaint against the aging actor, without citing any reason for the sudden change.
Here's video of Cosby entering the court Tuesday:
Cosby loses request to have Steele removed:
BREAKING: Judge rules against defense request to kick prosecutor off Bill Cosby's sexual assault case.— The Associated Press (@AP) February 3, 2016
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Image: Screenshot via AP/YouTube