Criminal Justice

Former DA says Cosby accuser had 'credibility issue' and his nonprosecution decision was binding

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A former District Attorney in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, testified on Tuesday that he opted not to prosecute Bill Cosby in 2005 for an alleged sexual assault because of a “credibility issue” with his accuser.

Castor said he intended his decision not to prosecute as binding, but it wasn’t reached as a result of a negotiation with Cosby’s legal team, report the Legal Intelligencer, the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Los Angeles Times.

“Mr. Cosby was not getting prosecuted at all—ever—as far as I was concerned,” Castor said.

Cosby has been charged with indecent assault stemming from the 2005 allegations by a former Temple University employee. His lawyers maintain the prosecution violates Castor’s binding prosecution agreement.

Castor testified on Tuesday that the alleged victim had talked to civil lawyers before going to police, which Castor felt created “a credibility issue for her.” Her complaint was made a year after the alleged assault, making it impossible to gather forensic evidence, he added.

Castor also said Cosby’s accuser had several conversations with the comedian, and some of them may have been recorded, which might be a violation of the state’s wiretap law.

Castor said he wanted “some measure of justice” for the alleged victim, and he believed his decision not to prosecute would make it impossible for Cosby to cite the Fifth Amendment in refusing to testify in the civil case.

The New York Times obtained Cosby’s deposition in the civil case through a court-reporting service last year. Before that, a judge had ordered portions of the deposition released, saying Cosby had narrowed the zone of privacy that protected him because of his posture as a public moralist. In the deposition, Cosby admitted giving Quaaludes to some women with whom he hoped to have sex, but said he didn’t give the drug to the plaintiff.

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