Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin R. Steele: Bill Cosby and his legal team are responsible for the 11-year delay in his arrest.
In a new court filing, Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin R. Steele argued in response to the motion Cosby’s lawyers filed earlier this month seeking the dismissal of felony charges brought against the comedian in 2015 based on deprivation of Cosby’s due process rights. Cosby’s motion stated that the then District Attorney Bruce Castor rejected Andrea Constand’s allegations in 2005, claiming there was insufficient credible and admissible evidence to bring charges against Cosby.
Castor delegated investigation of the other allegations to First Assistant District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman (now Judge Ferman, Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas).
Constand filed a civil lawsuit against Cosby, settles in 2006 agreeing to forever release her right to initiate a criminal complaint against Cosby in any jurisdiction in exchange for settlement money.
July 2015, after Cosby’s 2006 sealed civil lawsuit deposition was unsealed by a federal judge –the then District Attorney Risa Ferman reopened the case.
Cosby was arrested on Dec 30, 2015, one month before the 12-year statute of limitations would have expired from the 2004 Constand claims.
On Tuesday, Steele argued that Cosby used his fame and fortune to hide his crimes, and said the public release of Cosby’s deposition prompted dozens of women to come forward with accusations that mirrored Constand’s claims. Steele hopes Judge Steven T. O’Neill will let 13 of the accusers testify against Cosby to support Constand’s assault claims.
“This time he complains of pre-arrest delay. But he is an individual who has used his fame and fortune for decades to conceal his crimes and hide his true nature. He is not entitled to a dismissal now that the law has caught up with him,” Steele wrote in court documents.
“The law should not allow such gamesmanship,” Steele added.
(Gamesmanship: the art of winning games by using various ploys and tactics to gain a psychological advantage)
Cosby’s attorney said in response to the Commonwealth’s motion filed on Tuesday:
A reader need look no further than the first few sentences of the Commonwealth’s brief to see its true agenda. Civil rights, human rights, and constitutional rights are abandoned. The Commonwealth deems Mr. Cosby guilty of having “fame and fortune” that they argue he used to hide “crimes” for decades.
They do not intend to pursue a conviction against Mr. Cosby based on the one crime for which he has been charged—presumably because Ms. Constand’s allegations were previously rejected by the DA’s Office.
Instead, the Commonwealth admits that it wants to try him for 40- and 50-year-old accusations, many of which were raised for the first time in press releases and on talk shows, and that have never made their way to any courtroom or police station in this country. If our justice system is allowed to be distorted and abandoned for Mr. Cosby, none of us are safe.”
Cosby, 79, has denied all accusations and pled not guilty to three counts of felony sexual assault Cosby is facing up to 30 years and remains free on $1 million bail trial begins in June 2017.