No End in Sight For Bill Cosby’s Legal Woes

Bill Cosby
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Even as his team declared victory after today’s hung jury, comedian Bill Cosby still faces a mountain of legal trouble in the coming years.

First and most important, Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele has vowed to retry Cosby on the criminal charge that he sexually assaulted Andrea Constand. Under Pennsylvania’s speedy trial law, the new trial should be set within 365 days, and Steele has promised to move as fast as possible.

Both sides will have a chance to adjust their strategies for the next trial. They may also be able to query jurors about the deliberations in hopes of learning something that may make their arguments more convincing. The prosecution could also seek to appeal Judge Steven O’Neill’s ruling to exclude testimony from a dozen women who claim Cosby sexually assaulted them.

“If the court allows more accusers next time to testify, it might make a difference,” said attorney Gloria Allred outside court.

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Cosby remains free on bail. But in the meantime, he is also facing ten civil suits, many of them for defamation. Those cases continue to go forward, though they could be delayed as Cosby may not be required to give depositions in several of them until after the retrial.

In Massachusetts, Cosby is facing a federal defamation suit from seven accusers. Both sides continue to file motions and take discovery, but the court has issued a ruling preventing the plaintiffs’ attorneys from taking discovery from Cosby until the conclusion of the criminal trial. With the criminal case now set for a retrial, it appears that the Massachusetts civil case will be significantly prolonged. An attorney for one of the plaintiffs in the case declined to comment Saturday.

“If the parties previously agreed to stay the civil litigation pending the criminal trial, it is likely that they will continue that stipulation for a retrial,” said Priya Sopori, a partner at Greenberg Glusker. “Many of the civil cases will undoubtedly face issues regarding the statute of limitations, which are inevitably longer for criminal activity than for civil liability; but stipulations to stay often include an agreement to toll (a legal term for hitting the pause button) the statute of limitations for the duration of the stay.”

Janice Dickinson, the former fashion model and actress, has also filed a defamation suit against Cosby in California. She alleges that Cosby drugged and raped her in Lake Tahoe in 1982. That case is not affected by the delay in the criminal proceeding.

“Our case goes on independently,” Dickinson’s attorney, Lisa Bloom, told Variety on Saturday.

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Allred is also representing accuser Judy Huth, who has a court date later this month in Santa Monica. Huth alleges that Cosby forced her to perform a sex act on her at the Playboy Mansion in 1974, when she was 15. Allred has said that a second deposition of Cosby was awaiting the conclusion of the criminal trial, so that case, too, may be delayed.

Andrea Constand settled her lawsuit against Cosby a decade ago, so the specific facts of her case are not in play in the civil arena.

As for criminal charges, Bloom said a retrial typically favors the prosecution because in a second trial, attorneys for the accusers have already seen the legal strategy by the defense. “They can analyze everything in light of what they know now and probably put on a stronger case,” Bloom said.

Equally, though, the defense has now seen Constand’s testimony and can adjust its approach on cross-examination.

“Now they have a full record that their investigators can go out and use to obtain impeachment material,” said Steven Fairlie, a criminal defense attorney in Philadelphia who has been tracking the case. “Then the defense attorneys can plan out a more effective cross-examination.”

Bloom argued that the outcome of the trial does not represent a win for Cosby, as his team is claiming. “This is not a victory for Bill Cosby today. It’s not an acquittal. It’s a mistrial. This is just a reset.”

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  1. tripledipper says:

    But, but, but … I thought he had his power back.

  2. scoshrad says:

    I don’t know how young I was when I learned that, should my body ever catch fire, I should look around for a rug, a blanket, or some drapery, wrap myself up in that and smother the fire out. I’m glad I have that information in my head – I feel everyone should have that information, and we should get it when we’re young. That said, if I ever find myself on fire, I don’t know that I’ll look for a rug. I might panic and burn to a crisp. Should I be blamed for that?

    Should I be blamed that, one night in my youth, when I would have done well to CALL FOR HELP, because I had been sexually assaulted, I stayed alone in a shower just wanting to blank out my mind and make the bad stuff go away? You can blame me if you want, but I don’t blame myself, nor will I blame any victim who doesn’t report having been sexually assaulted. My anger goes elsewhere today. I’m angry at a media with zero regard for Sexual Assault Prevention, and angry at a mob of bitches who, assaulted or not, have nothing constructive to sell the public – only a destructive intent to bury all mention of POLICE REPORTS and RAPE KITS, because those subjects hurt their credibility in an orchestrated attack on Bill Cosby.

    It rates with me that, when I was in my teens and had been sexually assaulted, the message CALL FOR HELP wasn’t in my head at all. It’s now 2017, and the next kid like me who gets f’d up the b by a predator, will not have that information in his head. This is because of our media; this is because of a sick attorney and the women she exploits for self-promotion; because of a scarily dumbed-down mob who take their cues from a media that doesn’t fact-check, and looks for Gut Reaction Only. Gut Reaction told me the Menendez brothers were sexually assaulted. Were they? You don’t reason with your gut unless you’re a fool. You don’t buy into media bias unless you’re a fool. Before the accusations started flowing in, was Cosby ever referred to by the press as “America’s Dad”? I don’t remember that, I don’t believe we called him that.

    What we’ve seen in the courtroom is the Reality that stories (even a slew of them) unsubstantiated by POLICE REPORTS and RAPE KITS, are insufficient for even the most closely-observed, pressed-to-meet-the-public’s-expectations jury – not when the jury members hold to Reasoning Standards, not even when you have “experts” testifying that sexual assault victims can’t be expected to tell the truth, so it’s okay that Constand lied and lied and lied to the police, until the police confronted her with evidence that, no, she didn’t break contact with Cosby after the alleged assault, and in fact their relationship continued for some time. Social media morons accept that, if a woman says she’s been raped, she’s telling the truth, no matter how many holes there are in her story. What’s more, if I dare question a rape allegation, I am The Reason Women Get Raped. Mob Mentality accepts that. That’s why I don’t bother replying to responses to my social media posts. Social media is a sewer of stupid minds.

    Cosby’s trial is now a matter of public record, and history confirms that the day will come when he is seen as the victim of a media whose standards continue to sink, and sink, and sink, just because the masses love that. His historical stature is secure. We live in a madhouse, and mad people are reading these words. But when our madness goes on record, as it has in Cosby’s case, it’s scrutinized for decades, even centuries, to come, and our madness sickens the same world that nurtured it. Our stupid hate makes us love the men and women who endure it, and Cosby continues to do so with grace and even humor. We have a lot to learn from him, and from the gift of laughter that he’s shared with us.

  3. Cecil B da Mill says:

    Call more victims? They plan on filling the Hollywood Bowl? Either way, this monster will be will haunted and tortured to the end of days.

  4. sean kennedy says:

    We find, in the rules laid down by the greatest English Judges, who have been the brightest of mankind; We are to look upon it as more beneficial, that many guilty persons should escape unpunished, than one innocent person should suffer. The reason is, because it’s of more importance to community, that innocence should be protected, than it is, that guilt should be punished; for guilt and crimes are so frequent in the world, that all of them cannot be punished; and many times they happen in such a manner, that it is not of much consequence to the public, whether they are punished or not. The phrase “reasonable doubt” was used in court. Justice Peter Oliver instructed the jury, “If upon the whole ye are in any reasonable doubt of their guilt, ye must then, agreeable to the rule of law, declare them innocent
    Though a slightly modernized, the quote comes from John Adams’ opening statement for the defense, a ringing endorsement of the rights of the accused and the presumption of innocence: “It is more important that innocence be protected than it is that guilt be punished, for guilt and crimes are so frequent in this world that they cannot all be punished. But if innocence itself is brought to the bar and condemned, perhaps to die, then the citizen will say, “whether I do good or whether I do evil is immaterial, for innocence itself is no protection,” and if such an idea as that were to take hold in the mind of the citizen that would be the end of security whatsoever.”
    – John Adams

  5. Jimmy Green says:

    He will burn in Hell…. hehe.

  6. paully says:

    Hey Sari BC is a liberal.. So no..
    Time to fry Cosby the Monster..

  7. wishinwell says:

    Not surprised by mistrial- btw mistrial doesn’t mean he’s been acquitted or found guilty- it means NO decision, maybe some jurors have been in awe of Cosby or something, it’s not unusual for rape victims to be treated badly when they go to court. Surprised @ Camille Cosby – she has admitted in past to knowing of his womanizing, it also was known in certain Hollywood circles, but wonder now did she know about the extent of it? the drugging of the women?

  8. sari says:

    If Bill Cosby were a liberal, none of this would be an issue – just like Bill Clinton and Anthony Weiner, Elliot Spitzer and Schwartzman in di Blasio’s NY office. Remember what the liberals tried to do the same to Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, a black conservative?? No end in sight is the same tired playbook liberals are trying to use on President Trump.

    • Cheryl H says:

      Apparently you don’t remember there were repercussions for those men’s behavior also, including Bill Clinton being impeached. Moreover, you must not be aware of Cosby’s political leanings, as it’s a widely-known fact that he has been critical of Republican politicians. He’s a pig who, by his own admission, used drugs to “disarm” women for the purposes of having sex with them. That’s rape. Pure and simple.

  9. Gloria Allred is a shallow, self-proclaimed “expert” who, unless I badly miss my guess (and if I’m wrong, I invite her to come here and post a list of my mistakes – – by style of case, name of court, and case number: we can access this stuff in a heartbeat) has spent less time in front of juries than she has at the controls of a Mach 2+ aircraft. Representing people in divorce cases (which apparently is what she does) is a formulaic exercise in application of numbers: dollars (net worth and income); years married; relative contributions to the “community property;” numbers of kids – – oh, and of course, attorneys’ fees.

    Call “more victims” as witnesses in a retrial? Even an outsider to complex criminal law (as she is) would have to know that that’s a sure-fire invitation to reversal in the event of conviction, past a very limited point.

    Tell us, Gloria, (a) just what is it that you did to become an “expert” in this field, and (b) what did you have to do to get your face on television the first time?

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