Wednesday, 20 February, 2019

Bill Cosby's sex assault accuser will not have to testify before trial

Screengrab from CBS Video Bill Cosby Shows Axed In US
Alfredo Watts | 10 July, 2016, 17:55

A Pennsylvania judge just put the kibosh on Bill Cosby's latest effort to have his sexual-assault charges removed.

District Attorney Kevin Steele said that "justice has been delayed for too long", and he is "looking forward to a trial, where the defendant can confront his accuser". Today a man who has meant so much to so many; a man who has given so much to so many; has had his constitutional rights trampled on.

The Cosby defense also sought to persuade O'Neill that prosecutors had not presented enough evidence to continue with the case. Cosby is accused of sexually assaulting Constand at his Cheltenham Township home in 2004.

His lead defense attorney, Brian McMonagle, vowed to restore Cosby's "good name".

That hearing saw Cosby ordered to stand trial. Cosby's team argues that the police statements are hearsay, and that the ruling therefore wasn't fair because Constand herself didn't testify. Constand was not in court for the May pretrial hearing or the hearing on Thursday. They sought another preliminary hearing or dismissal of the charges altogether. "They do not. If he (Cosby) wants to confront witnesses let's get this case to trial".

Steele read excerpts in court Thursday from the deposition in which Cosby said he gave Constand an over-the-counter antihistamine and penetrated her with his fingers. They asked the judge to dismiss Cosby's sex assault case or schedule a new preliminary hearing.

But in recent years, more than 50 women have publicly painted the 78-year-old Cosby as a serial sexual predator who plied victims with sedatives and alcohol to have sex and make them unable to resist his advances.

Cosby's attorneys were not happy with the court's decision, saying they should be allowed to cross examine his accuser before trial.

Departing the Montgomery County Courthouse after a preliminary hearing, in Norristown, Pa.

However, Tayback in his argument cited a Bucks County case in which Bucks Judge Gary B. Gilman ruled in favor of the defense in a case where a Warrington detective testified at the preliminary hearing rather than the victim.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has agreed to review a similar case involving the use of hearsay at an evidence hearing. But the judge insisted Constand must appear and testify at the trial, a date for which has yet to be set.

Bill Cosby has been charged with sexual assault in relation to a 2004 accusation in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania.

Then, after dozens of women began accusing Cosby of drugging and/or raping them in episodes dating back decades, a judge in 2015 released part of the transcript of a deposition Cosby gave in the Constand civil suit, in which he acknowledged obtaining drugs to give to women he sought for sex.

He denies the charges and claims the alleged encounter was consensual.

The judge refused to dismiss the case, finding enough evidence to continue to the trial.