With his latest motion of dismissal filed today, Bill Cosby is trying again to avoid a trial in Pennsylvania on criminal charges of allegedly drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand in 2004. “The District Attorney’s win-at-all-costs tactics in this matter are stretching the rules past the breaking point,” says a filing Wednesday by the actor’s lawyers. It seeks to have the only criminal case against the much accused Cosby either tossed out of court or to receive a new preliminary hearing.
After striking out in both the Superior Court and Supreme Court of Pennsylvania in the last few months, the 78-year old Cosby and his attorneys now are saying they were denied the proper process in a May 24 hearing in Norristown, PA. That hearing before Judge Elizabeth McHugh ruled for a trial to start later this year on three felony second-degree aggravated indecent assault charges the actor was charged with in late 2015.
“During this hearing, the Commonwealth relied solely upon hearsay evidence to establish the elements of the charged offense, without providing Mr. Cosby an opportunity to confront and cross-examine his accuser,” says the petition filed in Montgomery County today by Brian McMonagle, Christopher Tayback of LA’s Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP and D.C.-based Monique Pressley. “Mr. Cosby objected and requested permission to cross-examine his accuser, but the court overruled the objection and allowed the Commonwealth to proceed based upon hearsay.” If he can’t get the case dismissed, Cosby wants Constand to take the stand in a new preliminary hearing to be set later this year.
During the hearing last month, law enforcement officials read out statements from Constand. Local D.A. Kevin Steele’s office said after the May 24 hearing that she would testify at the trial if necessary, but her presence at the preliminary hearing was not required.
The newly elected Steele laid the charges against Cosby right at the end of 2015 to beat the Keystone State’s 12-year statute of limitations for such crimes. Cosby was arraigned December 30 and released on $1 million bail without entering a plea. After the then-D.A. declined to press criminal charges back in 2005, Constand and Cosby had come to a settlement in 2006 in a civil case — a settlement Cosby now wants returned because he says Constand and her attorneys broke the confidentiality agreement of that deal. On May 13, Constand’s lawyers filed a motion to dismiss Cosby’s case against her, her mother, her 2005 attorneys and National Enquirer owner American Media.
An actual trial date on the criminal charges is expected to be announced in July or once this latest move by Cosby is dealt with.