Cosby Trial in PA Continues to Be Derailed by Decade-Old, Informal Promise Between Lawyers

Illustration for article titled Cosby Trial in PA Continues to Be Derailed by Decade-Old, Informal Promise Between Lawyers

On Wednesday, in Pennsylvania, Bill Cosby’s team continued to try to get him out of the criminal case lodged against him by Andrea Constand. His lawyer Jack Schmitt told a judge his client never would’ve testified in Constand’s 2005 civil suit, stemming from allegations that he’d raped her, if he’d known there would be criminal charges in the future.


Schmitt testified that his legal team, led by the late attorney Walter Phillips, had been assured 10 years ago that the criminal case against Cosby was “irrevocably concluded” by then-Montgomery County district attorney Bruce Castor, according to ABC News. As compensation, Schmitt said Cosby willingly participated in a four-day deposition, for which they both appear to now want cookies.

“We did that knowing the criminal matter had been concluded and could not be reopened,” Schmitt said, adding if they’d known Cosby would be a court room in 2016 for the same case, “we certainly wouldn’t let him sit for a deposition.”

Schmitt’s testimony follows Castor’s on Tuesday, who said—somewhat conflictingly—that while he hoped Cosby couldn’t wiggle his way out of the felony charge of aggravated indecent assault, he did feel that his decade old promise not to prosecute the comedian should be upheld.

However, as the current District Attorney Kevin Steele has argued, immunity can’t be granted by a lawyer, and Castor’s pledge wasn’t even put in a legal document. Rather Schmitt pointed to a press release and personal words between Castor and the late Phillips. When asked by the judge why he never put the no prosecution promise in writing, Castor said, “It was unnecessary because I concluded there was no way the case would get any better,” and he thought writing something like that down would make him “look bad.” He’s right there.

This case has officially gone into the territory of the absurd: the lawyers are arguing not about whether or not their client raped Constand, but whether the Pennsylvania legal system can say “no backsies” and mean it.

Contact the author at

Image via AP.



In other disgusting predator news, I stumbled into a comment thread on Facebook about the Jian Ghomeshi trial and I think I now have PTSD. The terms “lying bitch” and “feminazi” were being bandied about willy nilly. I need to self-medicate with wine tonight.