Thursday 8 December 2016

Bill Cosby files motion to dismiss criminal sexual assault charges

Published 12/01/2016 | 07:16

Comedian Bill Cosby's lawyer says the star was not in Los Angeles on the day he was accused of molesting a model (Invision/AP)
Comedian Bill Cosby's lawyer says the star was not in Los Angeles on the day he was accused of molesting a model (Invision/AP)

Bill Cosby's lawyers have filed a motion to dismiss criminal sexual assault charges against the embattled comedian, on grounds the prosecutor broke a promise not to press charges over Cosby's alleged 2004 encounter with Andrea Constand.

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The Cosby Show star has been fighting off decades-old accusations from more than 50 women, who have come forward with claims of inappropriate behaviour, drugging and rape against the actor in the past year.

Among them is former Temple University employee Constand, who filed a civil lawsuit against Cosby in 2005, alleging the funnyman of attacking her at his mansion in Pennsylvania in 2004.

She eventually settled with Cosby in 2006, but his deposition was made public in July, and in the documents, the 78 year old confessed to obtaining sedatives called Quaaludes to give to women he wanted to have sex with.

Pennsylvania authorities reopened the criminal investigation into her claims, and in late December, Cosby was arrested and charged with aggravated indecent assault stemming from Constand's allegations.

He turned himself in to police and was arraigned in a Montgomery County courthouse before being released on $1 million (€918,834) bail.

And while Cosby awaits a preliminary hearing in the case set for Thursday, his defence team filed a motion in Philadelphia on Monday, arguing that the prosecutor filed the new sexual assault charges against Cosby partly because of the statements he made in that deposition.

His lawyers say the agreement not to file the charges prompted Cosby to testify without invoking his Fifth Amendment rights.

Cosby's team is asking for Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele's office to be removed from the case if the charges aren't dropped.

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