Criminal Justice

Bill Cosby filing says former DA made binding agreement not to prosecute

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Bill Cosby

Bill Cosby. Image from Randy Miramontez /

Lawyers for Bill Cosby claim the indecent assault charges against him in Pennsylvania should be tossed because a former district attorney made a binding promise in 2005 not to prosecute.

In a habeas petition (PDF), the lawyers say former Montgomery County District Attorney Bruce Castor agreed not to prosecute Cosby in exchange for his truthful testimony in a civil suit by the alleged victim, report the New York Times, TMZ, USA Today and the Intelligencer.

The DA’s office is “knowingly repudiating a binding nonprosecution agreement and trampling Mr. Cosby’s due process rights for political gain,” the petition said.

According to the document, newly elected District Attorney Kevin Steele made Cosby a “centerpiece of his campaign” and used the case to advance his political ambitions by “inflaming the public.” If charges are not dismissed, the new district attorney should be disqualified from handling the case, the filing says.

The filing also says the delay of more than 10 years in bringing charges has prejudiced Cosby. The 78-year-old comedian’s “age and the passage of time” have impaired his memory of events, the petition says. Cosby has since “lost his eyesight—and his ability to identify the physical appearance of witnesses and accusers as well as review other pieces of physical evidence,” according to the document.

Steele issued a statement saying the filing “has no merit” and his legal response “will speak for itself.”

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