Judge OKs criminal case against Bill Cosby, rejects immunity argument

Bill Cosby

Bill Cosby. Image from Randy Miramontez / Shutterstock.com.

Rejecting arguments by lawyers for Bill Cosby and testimony by a former Pennsylvania district attorney, a Montgomery County judge on Wednesday said a sexual assault prosecution against the entertainer will go forward despite claims that testimony on which it is based was given under a grant of immunity.

Cosby, who is charged with aggravated indecent assault concerning an alleged 2004 attack on a Temple University employee at his suburban Philadelphia home, had argued through his lawyers that he gave deposition testimony in his alleged victim’s civil case only because then-DA Bruce Castor offered him immunity from prosecution. Castor himself testified about the pact, which was memorialized in a news release but was not put into a formal written document, according to ABC News, the Allentown Morning Call and USA Today.

“A secret agreement that permits a wealthy defendant to buy his way out of a criminal case isn’t right,” argued Kevin Steele, the current Montgomery County DA. He reportedly relied on Cosby’s deposition testimony, as well as other women’s claims of similar misconduct by the entertainer over a period of many years, in deciding to reopen the case.

News articles do not detail the judge’s reasoning in refusing to dismiss the criminal case against Cosby.

Related coverage:

ABAJournal.com: “Former DA says Cosby accuser had ‘credibility issue’ and his nonprosecution decision was binding”

New York Times (reg. req.): “Cosby Lawyers and Prosecutors Spar Ahead of Court Hearing”

New York Times (reg. req.): “In Cosby Hearing, Ex-District Attorney Says He Believed Accuser, but Case Was Lacking”

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