Bill Cosby’s Legal Defense Team Files Motion to Dismiss Criminal Charges in Pennsylvania Case
Bill Cosby’s attorneys have filed a key motion advancing a Constitutional argument that challenges the criminal prosecution against him on charges of sexual assault.
The motion seeks dismissal of felony charges brought against the comedian in 2015 based on deprivation of Cosby’s due process rights and that the criminal case cannot proceed.
The motion points outs that the District Attorney then stated there was “insufficient credible and admissible evidence upon which any charge against Bill Cosby related to the Constand incident could be proven beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.”
In particular, the District Attorney found:
- Constand’s delay of more than a year before coming to police and her inconsistent statements regarding her allegations’ details undermined her credibility;
- The “inordinate number of contacts” between Constand and Mr. Cosby after the incident—including over 20 communications and meetings—undermined the credibility of her claims;
- The fact that Constand contacted a civil lawyer before going to the police “created a credibility issue for her that could never be improved upon”; and
- The accusations of other accusers “would not be admissible” at trial because they were “decades old and they were never reported to the police.”
And yet, the investigation was reopened in 2015 with no evidence presented that wasn’t previously available, the defense argues.
“Bill Cosby has lived an extraordinary and exemplary public life for well over 50 years – not only as a comedian and TV star, but also as an educator, philanthropist, author, producer, commercial pitchman and civil rights advocate,” His attorneys stated in their motion.
STATEMENT OF FACTS (Via Court Documents Available Below)
Mr. Cosby’s fundamental rights have been repeatedly trampled in the eleven-plus years
since the Commonwealth promised he would not be prosecuted based on Ms. Constand’s
inconsistent allegations. The facts in the following timeline demonstrate the actual prejudice to
The facts in the following timeline demonstrate the actual prejudice to
Mr. Cosby caused by the Commonwealth’s unjustifiable pre-arrest delay of more than a decade:
2002: Ms. Constand and Mr. Cosby meet and develop a friendship.
Jan. 13. 2005: After waiting a year without ever mentioning it to anyone, and following
approximately 20 subsequent communications and meetings, Ms. Constand accuses Mr. Cosby of
sexual misconduct that she contends occurred sometime in early 2004.
The 2005 Investigation Into Ms Constand’s Allegations.
Jan.-Feb. 2005: Officials from the Montgomery County District Attorney’s office,
Cheltenham Township Police Department and Montgomery County Detective Bureau jointly
investigate Ms. Constand’s allegations.
Detectives interview multiple witnesses, including Ms.Constand, her mother, and Mr. Cosby. Investigators search Mr. Cosby’s residences in Pennsylvania and New York, and review telephone records and other evidence.
District Attorney Castor testified:
The publicity then, as now, was worldwide, and anyone who had access to
television or newspapers or radio media would hear about it. And some people
came forward and said to — contacted us and said that Mr. Cosby had done similar
things to them that he is alleged to have done to Ms. Constand.
District Attorney Castor delegates investigation of these other allegations to First Assistant District
Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman (now Judge Ferman, Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas).
Jan. 28, 2005: Tamara Green reportedly tells Detective John T. Fallon of the Montgomery
County Detective Bureau that, in the early 1970s, Mr. Cosby gave her drugs at a restaurant in front of 10
other people and then attempted to sexually assault her.
Detective Fallon’s report states that Ms. Green “remarked that she could make a great deal of money from this story.
“When asked about Ms. Green’s allegations, First Assistant District Attorney Ferman states on February 9,2005:
“Generally, an accusation from over 30 years ago is not going to be considered
admissible in court or relevant to an investigation.”
District Attorney Castor Analyzes the Significant Weaknesses in the Case,
Feb. 2005: After carefully examining all of the information and materials gathered during
the Commonwealth’s investigation into Ms. Constand’s claims, District Attorney Castor concludes
that there is “insufficient credible and admissible evidence upon which any charge against Mr.
Cosby related to the Constand incident could be proven beyond a reasonable doubt” in a court of
law. Numerous factors led to District Attorney Castor’s decision, including:
- Ms. Constand’s “lack of prompt complaint and the inability to gather forensic
evidence.” Prompt complaints are “of enormous significance” because they allow the
prosecution “to argue that the credibility of witnesses is enhanced” and gather “trace
evidence.” But Ms. Constand did not reveal her allegations to anyone for
approximately a year.
- The large “number of inconsistencies among the statements that Ms. Constand had
given” that “would affect her credibility at trial.”8 For example, she did not consistently
allege when the incident occurred, and the date of the alleged incident was very much
in dispute. Not only were there inconsistencies between Ms. Constand’s statements,
the detectives who interviewed Ms. Constand in person agreed that she made “a lot” of
changes to her answers, some of which were “dramatic.
- The “inordinate number of contacts” between Ms. Constand and Mr. Cosby after the
alleged incident. Those contacts involved over 20 communications and
meetings, including telephone conversations, a dinner party, and attendance with her
family at one of Mr. Cosby’s performances-all before she went to police. She even
gave him a gift.
- The fact that Ms. Constand contacted “a civil lawyer before going to the police,” which
“created a credibility issue for her that could never be improved upon”; and
- District Attorney Castor’s conclusion that the other accusers’ testimony about their
alleged encounters with Mr. Cosby “would not be admissible” at trial because the
allegations were “decades old and they were never reported to the police.
At this point, District Attorney Castor’s “choices were to leave the case open and hope it
got better or definitively close the case.” He decides to definitively close the case in order “to force Mr. Cosby to testify under oath” in Ms. Constand’s soon-to-be-filed civil lawsuit against Mr.
Cosby without asserting his constitutional Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.la
This fundamental constitutional right “not only permits an individual to refuse to testify against
himself when he is a defendant but also ‘privileges him not to answer official questions put to him
in any other proceeding, civil or criminal, formal or informal, where the answers might incriminate
him in future criminal proceedings.”‘ Commonwealth v. Cooley, 118 A.3d 370,375 (Pa. 2015)
Nov. 2006: Constand v. Cosby is dismissed with prejudice after the parties reach a
confidential settlement. Mr. Castor, who suspected that “Andrea and her mother were trying to
extort money from Cosby” from the beginning, “was hopeful that [he] had made Ms. Constand a
millionaire .” As part of the settlement, Ms. Constand agrees to forever release her right to initiate
a criminal complaint against Mr. Cosby in any jurisdiction in exchange for money.