Prosecutors can use Cosby's decade-old civil deposition at trial

Judge to hear arguments next week

By Maryclaire Dale
Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - A suburban Philadelphia judge settled one of two key pretrial issues in Bill Cosby's sexual assault trial when he ruled on Monday that the jury could hear Cosby's damaging testimony from a decade-old civil deposition. The defense had argued that Cosby only gave the testimony after being assured he would never be charged in the case. But Montgomery County Judge Steven O'Neill concluded that Cosby had no such guarantee. O'Neill has vowed to bring the case to trial by June. The 79-year-old Cosby is charged with felony sexual assault.

Here's where the criminal case against Cosby stands, and what's ahead.



The nearly 1,000 pages of often-lurid testimony show another side of the actor known as "America's Dad" for his portrayal of amiable Dr. Cliff Huxtable in his top-rated show, "The Cosby Show," from 1984-1992. Cosby acknowledged a string of extramarital affairs over 50 years and said he had given young women drugs or alcohol before sexual encounters that he deemed consensual. Many of the women say they were drugged and molested. Prosecutors in Montgomery County, near Philadelphia, reopened accuser Andrea Constand's 2005 police complaint after the deposition became public last year.



Cosby acknowledged the 2004 sexual encounter with accuser Andrea Constand, and described putting his hand down her pants after giving her three unidentified blue pills. He said he did not hear her object. "And so I continue and I go into the area that is somewhere between permission and rejection. I am not stopped," he said. Prosecutors believe Constand was semi-conscious and unable to give consent. Cosby also described a telephone call with her mother a year later. "I didn't want to talk about 'What did you give her?'" Cosby said on the call, which was taped, "because we're over the telephone and I'm not sending anything (the pill bottle) over the mail. And I'm apologizing because I'm thinking this is a dirty old man with a young girl. I apologized. I said to the mother it was digital penetration." At the same time, he called Constand, whom he had met through her basketball team job at Temple University, "a liar" and said her account of their relationship was not truthful.



The judge will hear arguments next week on the other key pretrial issue, the question of how many other accusers can testify at trial about Cosby's alleged pattern of drugging and molesting women. District Attorney Kevin Steele hopes to call 13 other women as "prior bad act" witnesses. The defense will fight strenuously to block their testimony, questioning their credibility and relevance. The hearing is set for Dec. 13 and 14.



Cosby has not spent any time in custody since his Dec. 30 arrest. He posted $1 million bail the same day and has made about a half-dozen court appearancesNeither his wife of 52 years, Camille, nor any of their four surviving children have accompanied him.

Published: Thu, Dec 08, 2016