Leaked Bill Cosby email Could Derail Case
An email obtained by CNN reveals former district attorney in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania agreed more than a decade ago that his office would not use a civil deposition given by Bill Cosby in any criminal matters.
The revelation could call into question the viability of the criminal case against the comedian.
According to reports Bill Cosby email says a crucial civil deposition given by the actor 10 years ago can not be used in any criminal case against him.
Cosby, who faces three felony charges of sexual assault, gave the deposition in 2005 in which he admitted he had slept with five different women outside of his marriage and used sedatives to drug them.
The alleged Bill Cosby email, discovered by CNN, was sent in 2015 and written by a former district attorney in Montgomery County. It allegedly describes a verbal agreement the prosecutor had with Cosby’s attorneys about his 2005 sexual assault case.
In part the email reads:
“I can see no possibility that Cosby’s deposition could be used in a state criminal case, because I would have to testify as to what happened, and the deposition would be subject to suppression.”
The deposition was given as a reason for re-opening the case against Cosby.
Mr Castor continued:
“I cannot believe any state court judge would allow that deposition into evidence. …. Knowing this, unless you can make out a case without that deposition and without anything the deposition led you to, I think Cosby would have an action against the County and maybe even against you personally.”
Cosby did not have a written immunity agreement
If it was the intention of the prosecutor to provide Cosby with immunity to facilitate his testimony in a civil case, there is a formal process to do that via written agreement. There was no such written agreement.
“I’ve just never heard of a verbal side deal like what this guy is describing. Any defense lawyer who would enter into a verbal agreement like this without getting it in writing and signed by the District Attorney would have to have rocks in his head,” L. George Perry, a former federal prosecutor in Philadelphia, told the Philadelphia Inquirer.
“There is a specific legal method to grant immunity. That was not done in 2005,” Steele told CNN.
The sexual assault case is based on claims made by Andrea Constant, who says Cosby assaulted her in his home in 2004.
Ms Constant’s case became the centre of the furore surrounding Mr Cosby – more than 50 women claimed that he drugged or assaulted them. Mr Cosby admits to sleeping with women extra-maritally, but denies allegations of underage sex or abuse. The case continues.
Earlier this week, Cosby’s lawyers filed a motion asking for the charges against the comedian to be dismissed.
In a statement, Cosby’s attorneys asserted that the charges were “illegally, improperly and unethically brought by District Attorney Kevin Steele and his office.”
According to the statement, the charges “violate an express agreement made by the Montgomery County District Attorney in 2005, in which the Commonwealth agreed that Mr. Cosby would never be prosecuted with respect to the allegations of sexual assault made by complainant Andrea Constand.
“This agreement, made for the express purpose of inducing Mr. Cosby to testify fully in Ms. Constand’s civil litigation against him, led Mr. Cosby to give deposition testimony in 2005 and 2006 without invocation of his Constitutional rights against self-incrimination. Now, to fulfill campaign promises, the newly-elected District Attorney has repudiated the agreement and has based these criminal charges on the very testimony Mr. Cosby gave in reliance on the Commonwealth’s non-prosecution agreement,” the attorneys said.
Steele said Friday that his office would file a response to the motion to dismiss, which his office has said has no merit.