Tag Archives: Temple University

As Bill Cosby trial begins, an O.J. Simpson-like constellation of race, celebrity, power and gender converges

The moment came suddenly, surprisingly. After nearly a year of sitting silently in a courtroom — and more than two years after a parade of women accusing him of sexual assault had stepped forward — Bill Cosby spoke out in court about the criminal charges against him.

“The Drake,” he said of the hotel where he is alleged to have plied a woman with Champagne — then assaulted her after she passed out — “is in Chicago.”

The clarification, offered to correct a district attorney’s mistake during a pretrial hearing in December, rang out to surreal effect around the courtroom: What defendant helps a prosecutor identify the site of an alleged sexual assault?

One thing was clear: Cosby was not going to let others define his actions for him, even with an offhand misstatement of where an incident took place.

As Cosby’s sexual assault trial begins Monday in a suburban courtroom north of Philadelphia, the disgraced entertainer will try to seize the narrative, just as he did when he gave his first major interview about the case to Sirius XM host Michael Smerconish last month.

Cosby is charged with three counts of aggravated indecent assault stemming from a 2004 encounter at his Cheltenham, Pa., mansion with Andrea Constand, a former Temple University basketball coach, in which he allegedly initiated sexual contact after giving her wine and a pill.

The outcome could determine whether the entertainer goes to prison for up to 10 years.

Full Read – http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-cosby-trial-20170602-story.html

Bill Cosby Accusers Request Pause on Defamation Lawsuit

Cammarata beat back a full stay of the case, but now he has reversed himself. Late last week, the attorney filed a motion to completely pause discovery of the civil lawsuit pending the end of the criminal prosecution.

It’s not every day when a plaintiff demands delay, but in the unfolding saga surrounding Cosby, there’s hardly much typical. The defamation case has numbers — six accusers — but the criminal one over Cosby’s alleged assault of former Temple University employee Andrea Constand has consequences. Should Cosby lose the Constand case scheduled to go to trial in Pennsylvania next June, he could spend most of his final days on Earth in a jail cell. What makes the interplay between the criminal and civil cases complicated is the possible trial testimony from many of Cosby’s accusers, including those suing him for defamation, but also others who are listed in court papers merely as knowledgeable witnesses.

In November, the Pennsylvania judge overseeing the criminal matter denied Cosby an opportunity to have a competency hearing to examine these women. At a court hearing next week, Cosby’s attorneys will argue they shouldn’t be allowed to testify for the prosecution about alleged prior bad acts.

In the meantime, Cosby has been pursuing depositions of the potential witnesses via the civil lawsuits.

“It appears that Defendant is misusing discovery in this action to conduct fact-finding for his own benefit in the criminal case,” states Cammarata’s memorandum in support of a stay. “This state of affairs should not continue, and there is little to gain in doing so.”

The plaintiffs’ attorney has been frustrated in his own efforts to investigate Cosby. For example, after Cosby filed counterclaims for tortious interference with his NBC and Netflix deals, Cammarata has been trying to measure the supposed harm to Cosby’s career only to be flummoxed by objections. Cammarata also deposed Singer in May, but didn’t get much because of the assertion of attorney-client privilege. Cammarata hasn’t been able to question Cosby about the nature of his relationship with female accusers, but he says that Cosby’s attorneys have been allowed to depose his clients.

“Since discovery began, it has been practically one-sided, in favor of Defendant,” writes Cammarata.

So now, upon word that Cosby wants to depose non-plaintiffs who may be testifying in the criminal action, Cammarata wants a time-out, doing what Judy Huth’s attorney Gloria Allred recently did in a civil case in California. There, Cosby’s attorneys fought against a discovery stay, telling the judge that the gambit represented a “breathtaking level of hypocrisy and gamesmanship,” and that the entertainer had a right to depose witnesses.

The Montgomery County, Pa., D.A. agrees with Cammarata and Allred, recently issuing a letter, expressing that “it is improper and inappropriate for the defendant or his attorneys to use the civil process to attempt to depose Commonwealth witnesses or otherwise gather discovery related to the pending criminal charges.”

Speaking of the interplay between the criminal and civil cases, it was the D.A.’s original decision more than a decade ago to not prosecute Cosby that allowed him to give a deposition in Constand’s civil case. The revelation of that 2005 deposition, where Cosby admitted obtaining quaaludes to give to women for sex, helped re-ignite the criminal case. On Monday, the Pennyslvania judge denied Cosby’s efforts to preclude the deposition at trial.

Sourced From – http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr-esq/bill-cosby-accusers-request-pause-defamation-lawsuit-952796

Bill Cosby Indecent Assault Charge Will Not Be Dismissed, D.A. Will Not Be Disqualified


Feb 3, 2016, 6:00 PM ET

The aggravated indecent assault charge against Bill Cosby will not be dismissed, despite his legal team’s efforts to get the case tossed out, and the prosecutor will be allowed to stay on the case.

On Wednesday, a judge shot down the comedian’s motions in the case.

“We will appeal,” Cosby’s lawyer, Monique Pressley told ABC News in the wake of the decision.

Cosby, 78, was charged last December by Montgomery County First Assistant District Attorney Kevin Steele. A few weeks later, Cosby’s attorneys filed to have the charge dismissed, claiming that Steele brought it “illegally, improperly and unethically.” They also asked that the D.A. be removed from the case.

Yesterday, Bruce Castor, a former Montgomery County District Attorney, told the judge why he never charged the comedian when the alleged incident happened more than a decade ago.

There was never a formal document between the two men in writing, Castor explained, and he decided against drafting a document because he had no plans of prosecuting Cosby.

Castor also said accuser Andrea Constand’s “actions … created a credibility issue for her that could never be improved upon” and that statements from other alleged victims were “very old.”

Castor did say he believed Constand was telling the truth but argued that she had waited too long to come forward. Castor also said Constand contacted a civil lawyer in Philadelphia, weakening the prosecution’s case.

Today, attorney Jack Schmitt, who has been a legal adviser to Cosby since 1983, testified that he would never have let the comedian give his 2005 deposition in the Constand civil suit if he thought there was a chance Cosby would one day be prosecuted, according to the Associated Press.

Constand, a former Temple University employee, claimed the comedian invited her to his Pennsylvania home in 2004 and made two sexual advances despite her rebuffs. She also claimed Cosby gave her pills and wine, which made her unresponsive and unable to move. At that point, she claims Cosby sexually assaulted her.

Cosby gave the deposition in 2005, which was just released last year to the public after U.S. District Judge Eduardo Robreno unsealed it. In the deposition, Cosby admitted that he gave Quaaludes to one woman in the past.

Schmitt was the second witness the Cosby legal team has called on in the past two days in an effort to get Judge Steven T. O’Neill to throw out the aggravated indecent assault charge.

Constand’s lawyer Dolores Troiani has not responded to ABC News’ request for comment.

In addition to the deposition released from the Constand civil suit last year, the charge also came after a barrage of women accused Cosby of sexual misconduct, dating back to the 1960s. Cosby fired back in early December, filing a countersuit for defamation against seven women who previously accused him of sexual misconduct.

Read Full Article – http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/bill-cosby-returns-court-assault-case/story?id=36685259