September 2016 Update: Prior Bad Acts Motion Filed September 6, 2016 [Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele has filed a motion seeking to call 13 women who would testify about Cosby’s alleged prior acts of sex assault.]
Last week, firm partner Brian Kent was interviewed about the Bill Cosby criminal case in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. National Public Radio’s Laura Benshoff interviewed Mr. Kent about his take on the Cosby case, stating that Cosby’s defense team faced an uphill battle. Mr. Kent served as an Assistant District Attorney in the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office, the office which has filed the charges against Cosby.
Just before the New Year, the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office headed by Kevin Steele filed criminal charges against Bill Cosby, just before the statute of limitations expired. The charges stem from an alleged incident which occurred over a decade ago. It’s alleged that Cosby sexually assaulted a Temple University employee at his home in Cheltenham, a suburb of Philadelphia.
After the charges were filed, Cosby tried to have the case dismissed by arguing that the criminal charges were barred by a verbal immunity agreement with the former Montgomery County District Attorney, Bruce Castor.
Castor testified on behalf of Cosby at last week’s hearing in front of Judge Steven T. O’Neill who ultimately denied Cosby’s motion.
Here’s a look at what happened. Cosby tried to argue that he relied on a verbal agreement between his former attorney, who has since died, and Bruce Castor. As a result of that immunity agreement, Cosby’s defense team argued that Cosby agreed to give a deposition in the civil lawsuit that the victim filed in 2005. Castor agreed and testified that he did, in fact, intend to give Cosby immunity because of what he viewed as credibility problems with the criminal case.
The problem is that any such agreement was never memorialized with a written document and the normal procedure to obtain immunity was not followed. In addition, Castor indicated in a press release in 2005 that he would consider revisiting the Cosby prosecution, “should the need arise.” Judge O’Neill certainly reviewed these factors and therefore denied Cosby’s motion.
Now, Cosby’s team faces a continued uphill battle. The deposition testimony and evidence of prior acts of sex abuse or assault may be admissible in the criminal case. A conviction is very likely. Read Mr. Kent’s take on the underlying criminal case here.
This isn’t the first time the Philadelphia area has been under the national spotlight for a sex assault case. The recent Philadelphia priest abuse case involving former Monsignor William J. Lynn, which resulted in a conviction, has also received a significant amount of national media attention. That case represents the first time a priest in a supervisory role faced charges for failing to protect children from known pedophile priests. The Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office prosecuted that case.
About Brian Kent
Attorney Brian Kent handles civil sex abuse and assault lawsuits. He is licensed in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Illinois. His firm, Laffey, Bucci & Kent, has the resources to handle sex abuse and sex assault cases across the country via special court admission.
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