Tuesday May 24, 2016 –
A Pennsylvania judge found enough evidence during a hearing Tuesday to proceed with a criminal trial. It’s not clear when his trial will start.
Cosby faces three counts of felony indecent assault from a 2004 case involving Andrea Constand, an employee at his alma mater, Temple University. She was the first of more than 50 women who have accused the comedian of sexual misconduct.
If convicted, Cosby could face up to 30 years in prison. Cosby’s defense attorney slammed the decision to move forward with a trial.
“The evidence presented today was evidence of nothing. They had 12 years to bring an accuser to confront Mr. Cosby. They chose not to,” defense attorney Brian McMonagle said.
“There was no evidence of a crime here. And the inconsistencies that plagued this investigation from the beginning continue to plague it now. This case should end immediately.”
But Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele said the prosecution only had to “prove that a crime was committed and the defendant’s connected to the crime.”
“It’s a preliminary hearing — hearsay is admissible, and we’re just over the next hurdle,” Steele said after the ruling.
Original story –
More than a decade after he was first accused of assault, Bill Cosby’s first pretrial hearing began Tuesday morning in Pennsylvania.
Cosby faces three counts of felony indecent assault from a 2004 case involving Andrea Constand, an employee at his alma mater, Temple University.
Constand was not in court Tuesday morning for the hearing.
Cosby’s defense team said prosecutors are relying on a statement made by her 11 years ago. Defense attorney Brian McMonagle argued that “allowing hearsay” in the context of this case would be “wrong.”
The prosecution called its first witness, Katherine Hart of the Montgomery County Detective’ Bureau, who described in court Constand’s statement to police.
During the preliminary hearing, it’s up to the prosecution to prove there is a preponderance of evidence that Cosby committed a crime.
At the end of the hearing, a judge will decide whether there is enough evidence to proceed with a criminal trial.
If convicted, Cosby could face up to 10 years in prison
Constand, a former basketball coach at Temple, said that during a 2004 visit to the comedian’s Philadelphia home, she was given pills and wine that left her hardly able to remain conscious — let alone consent to sex.
She was the first person to publicly allege sexual assault by Cosby.
After going to police, authorities declined to charge Cosby.
Bruce Castor, the Montgomery County district attorney at the time of the alleged incident, did not file sexual assault charges against Cosby, citing “insufficient credible and admissible evidence.”
Ex-DA says that he ‘bound’ Pennsylvania by not prosecuting Cosby.
The parties reached a civil settlement in 2006, but the case was reopened as new evidence came to light, including the number of other accusers coming forward and some of his remarks during a 2005 deposition that were recently unsealed.
The newly elected prosecutor in Montgomery County, Kevin Steele, turned the Cosby case into an election issue. He promptly reopened it after taking office.
Cosby was charged with three felonies and arraigned in December, then released on $1 million bond.
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