Bill Cosby is expected to be back in court Wednesday in an attempt to throw out a criminal proceeding against the legendary comic.
The former district attorney who declined to arrest Cosby on sex-crime charges a decade ago testified Tuesday that he essentially granted him lifetime immunity from prosecution in the civil case involving Andrea Constand.
A press release issued by former Montgomery County District Attorney Bruce Castor was read in court, in which Castor said Cosby would never be prosecuted was read out in court.
Castor testified his decision is binding on his successors but the current district attorney, Kevin Steele, has said there is no record of any such agreement.
While testifying on Tuesday, Castor said he feared Constand’s credibility as a witness could have been undermined because she waited a year to file her criminal complaint against Cosby and hired a lawyer to explore a civil lawsuit.
He said he hoped the decision not to prosecute would allow the comedian to testify in the civil suit brought by Constand. She eventually settled for an undisclosed amount.
Castor said he relayed word to Cosby’s then-attorney, Walter Phillips, that Cosby would not be charged. However, Castor said the two lawyers did not have “an agreement” that Cosby would testify in exchange for not being prosecuted. Phillips is now dead.
Cosby has said he did nothing wrong and his lawyers have asked the judge to dismiss the Constand case.
The 78-year-old Cosby was charged in late 2015 by prosecutors in Pennsylvania with sexually assaulting Andrea Constand, a Canadian former basketball coach at his alma mater Temple University. The charges were laid mere days before the statute of limitations ran out.
Castor said by not prosecuting Cosby ten years ago, he was prevented from invoking his constitutional right against self-incrimination when he gave a deposition for a civil suit against Constand.
That testimony was unsealed last year by a judge. In it, Cosby said he gave Benadryl to Constand in 2004 but said their encounter as consensual.
The entertainer is facing accusations from over 50 women that he sexually assaulted them, using drugs and alcohol, in a series of cases that date back 50 years.