Bill Cosby is all over the TV again and for all the wrong reasons. But the prosecutor who failed to prosecute the famous entertainer in 2005 has been shredded before an audience bigger than anything Bill Cosby ever enjoyed.
The Washington Post reports that Montgomery County PA, DA Bruce Castor may have offer a secret deal to Cosby in 2005 when he faced charges of allegedly sexually assaulting Andrea Constand at his home in Pennsylvania.
Cosby’s lawyers had argued over two days during a pretrial hearing that a criminal case against Cosby had been prevented by a promise made in 2005 by then-District Attorney Bruce Castor never to prosecute the entertainer.
The judge on Wednesday ruled “there was no basis to grant the relief requested” by Cosby.
As The Post reported, Castor was a rising Republican politician who served as a prosecutor until 2008 when he became county commissioner.
Cosby, America’s Dad, went on being Cosby — endower of universities, scolder of the black community, living legend.
But times changed for Cosby and the sexual assault allegations spread like the Zika virus. Over 50 women accused him of molestation and the time-frame has become longer.
But what of the “Secret Agreement?”
Castor, who allegedly offered Cosby what current prosecutors called a “secret agreement,” has been shredded on the witness stand before the world — after losing an election in which his failure to prosecute Cosby became a major issue.
The trouble for Castor begain in 2005 when he issued a news release announcing that he would not charge Cosby in the Constand case.
He found that “insufficient, credible and admissible evidence exists upon which any charge against Mr. Cosby could be sustained beyond a reasonable doubt,” the statement said. Nowhere was an immunity agreement mentioned. In closing, the statement encouraged both sides to resolve the issue with “a minimum of rhetoric.”
Yet with 11 years of hindsight and on the stand for seven hours at Cosby’s pretrial hearing Wednesday, Castor offered what the Los Angeles Times called an “involved legal theory”: that he “deliberately shut down the possibility of a criminal trial — with the so-called agreement — because he wanted to deprive Cosby of any 5th Amendment protection should Constand bring a civil lawsuit,” as the paper explained.
This did not go down well with the current prosecutors. “Please, tell me in the press release where you made [an agreement] absolute,” Assistant District Attorney M. Stewart Ryan said.
“I will if you quiet down and let me look at it,” Castor replied.
Cosby’s attorneys contended that, although the agreement might not have been written down, it was still valid.
“A promise of a prosecutor, even an oral promise, is one that is absolute, 100 percent enforceable,” Cosby attorney Christopher Tayback said, as The Washington Post’s Karen Heller reported.
But why hadn’t an immunity agreement been filed with the court? Castor said Cosby was worried about how that would look.
Cosby, now 78, faces multiple charges that stem from the alleged 2004 assault of ex-Temple University staffer Constand. He faces up to 10 years in prison and a $25,000 fine.
Kevin Steel filed the charges in December 2015, just before the state statute of limitations on the matter expired. Revelations of the use of drugs to have sex with women and more from Cosby’s now unsealed deposition in Constand’s civil case, which was later settled, formed the basis of the new charges.
“I was hopeful that I had made Ms. Constand a millionaire,” Castor said of the settlement between Cosby and his accuser, though the former D.A. added that he didn’t think Constand did her case any favors a decade ago.
Read more at the Washington Post