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Bill Cosby tries to get criminal charges tossed

2016-05-05 14:58
 

Philadelphia — Bill Cosby is trying again to delay hearings in his criminal case while he fights to get the sex-assault charges in Pennsylvania dismissed.

The actor-comedian asked the state Supreme Court on Wednesday to review last week's decision by an appeals court that upheld the case.

Cosby, 78, is charged with indecent sexual assault over a 2004 encounter with a former Temple University employee. His preliminary hearing is set for May 24.

The state's high court could dismiss the appeal, hear the appeal and delay the hearing, or take the appeal but refuse to grant a delay.

District Attorney Kevin Steele has said it's time for the case to move forward. Cosby was arrested 30 December and has not yet entered a plea.

Steele reopened the case last year after new evidence emerged that he thought strengthened the accuser's 2005 police complaint. That evidence includes similar accounts by dozens of other Cosby accusers and Cosby's admission, under oath in a deposition, that he had gotten sedatives to give to women he hoped to seduce.

Cosby's lawyers say there's no harm in delaying the probable-cause hearing, given that prosecutors took nearly 12 years to bring charges.

The heart of their underlying argument to dismiss the case is that former District Attorney Bruce L. Castor Jr. now says he had promised that Cosby would never be prosecuted over the encounter. Castor has testified that he urged Cosby's late lawyer, Walter M. Phillips Jr., to have Cosby testify in a civil lawsuit brought by the woman, Andrea Constand.

Steele seized on that newly-released testimony in reopening the criminal case last year.

"The (former) district Attorney ... made an unequivocal and binding promise to Mr. Cosby that the commonwealth would never prosecute him," defense lawyer Carl A. Solano wrote in the motion for a stay. "That right will be irreparably lost if the 24 May, 2016 preliminary hearing is allowed to go forward."

Cosby remains free on $1m bail. Steele was travelling Wednesday and was unavailable for comment, a spokesperson said.

Read more on:    bill cosby  |  celebrity crime
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