A Pennsylvania judge ruled this week that a criminal sexual assault case against Bill Cosby will proceed, NPR reports. This despite claims that the comedian received immunity from prosecution over a decade ago in connection with the civil suit filed by alleged victim, Andrea Constand.
The immunity claim was supported by the statements of a former District Attorney that he orally agreed not to prosecute Cosby. The agreement was allegedly given to Cosby's now-deceased attorney at the alleged victim's lawyers' request. The judge apparently was not buying it and the criminal case will proceed.
Beware the Headlines
Even though Judge Steven O'Neill refused to dismiss the case against Cosby, stemming from an alleged assault against Temple University employee Andrea Constand in 2004, it is not yet clear that he will be tried criminally. The next step is a preliminary hearing to determine whether there is enough evidence for a prosecution at this point..
Some media outlets, like NPR, are reporting that Cosby is going to trial. The truth is just that his trials -- in the existential sense -- continue as his legal team fends off attacks from all sides, sometimes successfully. Apart from this criminal prosecution, which may not proceed if prosecutors cannot show sufficient evidence, the comedian faces accusations of defamation and assault in civil suits around the country.
Mixed News Weekly
Yesterday the busy Cosby legal team got good news when a former Playboy model moved to dismiss a civil suit for sexual assault, filed last year. But Chloe Goins, the alleged victim, asked to dismiss without prejudice, meaning she's reserving the right to file her claim again. Goins did not explain this move but prosecutors did recently decide not to go forward with a criminal case, stemming from an alleged 2008 assault.
Every week it seems there are new developments in the Cosby cases, claims and counterclaims, dismissals and prospective prosecutions. Regardless of the outcome of any one particular case, however, it is safe to assume that the once-beloved comedian feels defeated by the highly litigious and not at all amusing turn his life has taken.
- Bill Cosby's Lawsuit Response: 5 Things to Know (FindLaw's Celebrity Justice)
- Cosby Counterclaims Against 7 Accusers (FindLaw's Celebrity Justice)
- Cosby Complains: Insurers Threaten Defamation Defense (FindLaw's Celebrity Justice)