Bill Cosby has lost his fight to keep his 2005 deposition, where he admitted to buying Quaaludes giving them to women and “other people,” out of his criminal trial.
Judge Steven O’Neill ruled today that the use of Cosby’s deposition, given during a lawsuit filed by Andrea Constand, is admissible and its use in the pending criminal trial does not violate Cosby’s constitutional rights. O’Neill also ruled that a previous agreement made between Cosby and former Montgomery County District Attorney Bruce Castor to keep the deposition out of a criminal trial was not enforceable.
Earlier this year, Cosby’s lawyers argued that the deposition given in Constand’s lawsuit should not be admissible in the criminal case (where Constand is also the alleged victim) because of the agreement struck between Castor and Cosby. In an email to his successor, Castor wrote:
“I can see no possibility that Cosby’s deposition could be used in a state criminal case, because I would have to testify as to what happened, and the deposition would be subject to suppression. I cannot believe any state court judge would allow that deposition into evidence.”
In 2005, Castor declined to prosecute Cosby for allegedly sexually assaulting Constand. After Castor refused to move forward with prosecution, Constand filed a lawsuit alleging battery, assault, emotional distress, defamation and invasion of privacy. The case was settled out of court in 2006.
Cosby’s testimony in the case was sealed for nearly a decade before it was published by the Associated Press in 2015. In the deposition, Cosby admitted to sexually assaulting Constand as well as giving her “three friends to make (her) relax.” Constand said that Cosby told her that the Quaaludes were “herbal medication.” She passed out and when she woke, she undressed and in pain. According to the transcripts, Cosby was in his bathrobe.
Kevin Steele, the current Montgomery County District Attorney, rejected the agreement struck by Castor and Cosby. Buzzfeed notes that Steele’s election platform, “included pursuing criminal charges against Cosby.” In court, Steele argued that Cosby’s attempt to “repackage the years he successfully kept the deposition hidden,” should not be rewarded by the court. Clearly, the judge agreed.