Cosby loses state court bid to dis­miss sex as­sault charges

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - FRONT PAGE - By Carl Hessler Jr. chessler@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @Mont­coCourtNews on Twit­ter

NORRISTOWN >> En­ter­tainer Bill Cosby has lost his lat­est bid be­fore a state court to dis­miss the sex as­sault charges lodged against him in con­nec­tion with an al­leged en­counter he had with a woman at his Chel­tenham man­sion.

The Penn­syl­va­nia Su­pe­rior Court Wed­nes­day quashed Cosby’s mo­tion in which he sought the dis­missal of three counts of ag­gra­vated in­de­cent as­sault in con­nec­tion with al­le­ga­tions he sex­u­ally as­saulted An­drea Con­stand, a for­mer Tem­ple Univer­sity ath­letic depart­ment em­ployee, at his home in 2004.

In an ap­peal filed in Au­gust, de­fense lawyer Brian J. McMona­gle, cit­ing “ex­cep­tional cir­cum­stances,” asked the state court to re­view Mont­gomery County Judge Steven T. O’Neill’s July 7 de­ter­mi­na­tion that pros­e­cu­tors, un­der cur­rent state law, were not re­quired to present Con­stand’s live tes­ti­mony dur­ing Cosby’s May pre­lim­i­nary hear­ing be­fore a dis­trict court judge.

“Th­ese is­sues must be re­solved now, be­cause lack of im­me­di­ate ap­pel­late re­view will cause Mr. Cosby’s in­ter­ests to be ir­repara­bly lost, since he will for­ever be pre­vented from con­fronting his ac­cuser be­fore a trial,” McMona­gle wrote in the ap­peal.

O’Neill ruled pros­e­cu­tors’ re­liance on so-called “hearsay ev­i­dence” at that pre­lim­i­nary hear­ing was “per­fectly proper,” un­der cur­rent state law, to show suf­fi­cient ev­i­dence to move Cosby’s case to trial.

O’Neill sub­se­quently urged the state court to quash Cosby’s ap­peal, claim­ing Cosby’s ap­peal of the July 7 pre­trial rul­ing was “nei-

ther ap­peal­able by right… nor based on ‘ex­cep­tional cir­cum­stances.’”

Pros­e­cu­tors also urged the state court to quash Cosby’s ap­peal and the state court, in its rul­ing on Wed­nes­day, es­sen­tially granted the dis­trict at­tor­ney’s re­quest.

Dur­ing Cosby’s May 24 pre­lim­i­nary hear­ing, Dis­trict At­tor­ney Kevin R. Steele and co-pros­e­cu­tors M. Stew­art Ryan and Kris­ten Fe­den pre­sented county and Chel­tenham de­tec­tives as wit­nesses who tes­ti­fied and read into the record state­ments that Con­stand al­legedly gave to de­tec­tives on Jan. 22, 2005, claim­ing Cosby had sex­ual con­tact with her while she vis­ited his Chel­tenham man­sion.

McMona­gle had ar­gued that Steele re­lied on “hearsay” and de­tec­tives’ rec­ol­lec­tions about Con­stand’s state­ments and that Cosby should have had the right to con­front his ac­cuser.

Now that the state court has ruled, Cosby’s quest to dis­miss the charges will re­turn to the county court, where McMona­gle last week claimed Cosby, whose “eye­sight and mem­ory have con­sid­er­ably de­clined” dur­ing the last 11 years, was prej­u­diced by pros­e­cu­tors’ decade-old de­lay in bring­ing sex­ual as­sault charges against him.

McMona­gle has asked Judge O’Neill to rule that Cosby’s “due process rights were vi­o­lated” by the pros­e­cu­tion’s “un­jus­ti­fied 10year

Cosby’s quest to dis­miss the charges will re­turn to the county court, where McMona­gle last week claimed Cosby was prej­u­diced by pros­e­cu­tors’ decade­old de­lay in bring­ing sex­ual as­sault charges against him.

de­lay” in fil­ing charges against him. Wil­liam Henry Cosby Jr., 79, as his name ap­pears on charg­ing doc­u­ments, faces charges in con­nec­tion with the al­leged sex­ual as­sault of Con­stand at his home in the 8200 block of New Sec­ond Street in Chel­tenham be­tween mid-Jan­uary and mid-Fe­bru­ary 2004. The charges were lodged against Cosby on Dec. 30, be­fore the 12year statute of lim­i­ta­tions to file charges ex­pired.

Cosby faces a June 5, 2017 trial on the charges.

The news­pa­per does not nor­mally iden­tify vic­tims of sex crimes with­out their con­sent but is us­ing Con­stand’s name be­cause she has iden­ti­fied her­self pub­licly.

If con­victed of the charges at trial, Cosby, an en­ter­tain­ment icon who re­mains free on 10 per­cent of $1 mil­lion bail, faces a pos­si­ble max­i­mum sen­tence of 15 to 30 years in prison.

THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Bill Cosby de­parts af­ter a pre­trial hear­ing in his sex­ual as­sault case at the Mont­gomery County Court­house in Norristown on Sept. 6.

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