Bill Cosby loses bid to get criminal case dismissed

July 8, 2016 Comments Off on Bill Cosby loses bid to get criminal case dismissed

Bill Cosby loses bid to get criminal case dismissed

Saranac Hale Spencer, Maria Puente, USA TODAY July 7, 2016

A judge on Thursday denied Bill Cosby’s effort to compel the accuser in his criminal sex assault case to testify before trial, ruling the comedian shouldn’t get a new preliminary hearing.

NORRISTOWN, Pa. — Bill Cosby lost another bid to get criminal sexual-assault charges tossed, after a judge ruled Thursday that there is enough evidence to try Cosby even though he was unable to cross-examine his accuser at a preliminary hearing.

Cosby arrived at the courthouse here in suburban Philadelphia to ask Judge Steven O’Neill to reverse an earlier decision to send Cosby to trial on charges of aggravated sexual assault stemming from an encounter between Cosby and accuser Andrea Constand in 2004.

Cosby’s lawyers insisted a trial could not be held until Constand gets on the stand and they get a chance to cross-examine her. Constand did not testify at the May preliminary hearing; instead, prosecutors cited a recent court ruling they believe allowed them to use her police statement taken more than a decade after the encounter.

A lower court judge agreed and upheld the charges; Cosby wanted O’Neill to reconsider.

The judge ruled against Cosby’s motion, which sought to compel Constand to testify and be cross-examined under oath, or dismiss the charges….

Cosby, 78, a mentor to Constand, 43, when she was working at Temple University, is accused of drugging and molesting her 12 years ago at his home in Montgomery County outside Philadelphia. She accused him to police a year later but charges were never filed, so she sued him in civil court. The two settled in 2006 and the case was sealed.

Then, after dozens of women began accusing Cosby of drugging and/or raping them in episodes dating back decades, a judge in 2015 released part of the transcript of a deposition Cosby gave in the Constand civil suit, in which he acknowledged obtaining drugs to give to women he sought for sex….

Former Prosecutor Who Declined to Charge Bill Cosby in 2005 Says he Believed Accuser Andrea Constand, Good news, bad news for Bill Cosby in civil suits in California, Catholic Church settles 30 of 40 priest sex abuse lawsuits, Pitcairn mayor charged with possessing child abuse material wants to face ‘local law’

February 3, 2016 Comments Off on Former Prosecutor Who Declined to Charge Bill Cosby in 2005 Says he Believed Accuser Andrea Constand, Good news, bad news for Bill Cosby in civil suits in California, Catholic Church settles 30 of 40 priest sex abuse lawsuits, Pitcairn mayor charged with possessing child abuse material wants to face ‘local law’

Former Prosecutor Who Declined to Charge Bill Cosby in 2005 Says he Believed Accuser Andrea Constand
By Nicole Weisensee Egan  02/02/2016
Even though he declined to charge Bill Cosby when sexual assault allegations were brought to him in 2005, and despite spending much of his testimony Tuesday alleging that accuser Andrea Constand’s story had “inconsistencies,” former Montgomery County District Attorney Bruce L. Castor, Jr. nonetheless testified he thinks Constand was telling the truth.

“I believed Ms. Constand’s account,” Castor said at a hearing in Norristown, Pennsylvania. “What I think and what is provable in a courtroom are two different things. What I think is that Andrea Constand was inappropriately touched by Mr. Cosby.

“I’m analyzing back in 2005 what I can prove,” Castor said. “All of those combined together in my mind created a situation where she had ruined her own credibility and would not be believed by a juror. That does not mean she was not telling the truth.”

Castor testified he never interviewed or even met Constand himself. He testified for more than six hours Tuesday at a pre-trial hearing, and was the only witness to testify.

Constand, 42, is the former director of operations for the Temple University women’s basketball team who went to authorities in January 2005 with allegations that, in January 2004, Cosby gave her pills at his house that knocked her out and then sexually assaulted her.

Castor, the Montgomery County district attorney at the time, did not file criminal charges, but after Constand sued Cosby, she and the comedian agreed to a civil settlement in late 2006.

Cosby has denied Constand’s allegation, saying the sexual contact was consensual. He has also denied similar allegations from more than 50 other women….

Good news, bad news for Bill Cosby in civil suits in California
Maria Puente, USA TODAY  February 2, 2016

As Bill Cosby faced criminal sexual-assault charges in a Pennsylvania courthouse on Tuesday, there was good news and bad news for him in civil court in Los Angeles.

Chloe Goins, the youngest and most recent of Cosby’s five-dozen accusers, dropped her civil suit against him, according to the Associated Press, which cited federal court records showing the suit was dropped without explanation.

Meanwhile, in another civil case in Los Angeles, Cosby was ordered to sit for another grilling in a deposition for a lawsuit alleging he sexually abused accuser Judy Huth at the Playboy Mansion around 1974 when she was 15.

Depositions have not been good for Cosby: His testimony in a deposition in a civil suit filed by an accuser in 2005 played a role in the filing of the criminal charges against him in Pennsylvania.

Cosby resisted sitting for the first deposition in the Huth case but was ordered by a judge to do so. When he didn’t answer every question, Huth’s attorney, Gloria Allred (who represents nearly half of the five-dozen women who have accused Cosby), sought to compel him to sit for another….

The Los Angeles district attorney declined last month to file charges against Cosby in connection with Goins’ accusations because the California statute of limitations for sexual assault had expired.

She had earlier filed a civil suit in federal court against Cosby alleging sexual battery. It was one of a half-dozen civil suits pending against Cosby stemming from the accusations that he had drugged and/or raped dozens of women in episodes dating to the mid-1960s. .

It is not clear why Goins dropped the suit, but when a plaintiff moves to dismiss her own lawsuit it often means the parties have come to a settlement. And often such a settlement is confidential.

One other accuser suit against Cosby, for defamation, was dismissed by a judge in Pittsburgh last month.

Goins’ lawyer, Spencer Kuvins, declined to comment. Cosby’s spokesman did not return emails seeking comment….

EXCLUSIVE: Catholic Church settles 30 of 40 priest sex abuse lawsuits
Jan 29, 2016   By Keoki Kerr
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) –

The Roman Catholic Church has reached settlements in 30 lawsuits filed by people in Hawaii who claim they were sexually abused by priests decades ago when they were children.

They are among 63 people who have made abuse allegations against priests in 40 lawsuits, according to legal documents obtained by Hawaii News Now.

Some of the cases have been reported in the media, such as the 2012 lawsuit filed by Mark Pinkosh claiming two priests at St. Anthony Church in Kailua sexually abused him.

Pinkosh said when he told then-Father Joseph Ferrario that another priest had raped him, Ferrario told him to keep the incidents secret and then Ferrario raped him.  Ferrario, who is now deceased, went on to become the bishop of the Catholic Church in Hawaii.

Other cases have been kept quiet, with the plaintiffs listed as John or Jane Roe.

Hawaii News Now has learned that Pinkosh and 62 other alleged victims of priest sex abuse went to mediation last year with the Catholic Church to try to settle their 40 lawsuits….

Pitcairn mayor charged with possessing child abuse material wants to face ‘local law’

Lawyer calls for trial to be held on Pitcairn Island, not in Auckland, as ex-mayor Michael Warren denies all 25 charges
Elle Hunt Tuesday 2 February 2016

The lawyer representing a former Pitcairn Island mayor facing charges of possessing child abuse films and photos has said the case should be dealt with under local laws rather than by a court in New Zealand.

Michael Warren, who served as mayor of the tiny British territory in the South Pacific from 2008 to 2013, appeared by video link from Pitcairn to an Auckland courtroom on Monday to deny 25 charges relating to more than 1,000 child abuse films, images and messages.

As mayor in 2010, it was alleged in court, Warren accidentally sent an email to a diplomatic staff member from an address in someone else’s name.

It was further alleged in court that the staff member searched for the address online and found it was linked to an online chat site containing explicit material.

Sergeant Geoff Medland, an officer seconded to Pitcairn Island in 2009 as part of the assistance provided by New Zealand police to the territory, was made aware of the allegations in late April 2010.

The crown alleges Medland found more than 1,000 child abuse images and videos in a search of Warren’s home on 26 May 2010.

Warren was arrested by Medland on behalf of the British high commission and charged with 20 counts of possessing child sexual abuse content under section 160 of the UK’s Criminal Justice Act 1988. He also received five charges under the Pitcairn summary offences ordinance for possession of indecent articles involving adults….

Warren pleaded not guilty in March 2013.

Pitcairn, settled in 1789 by Fletcher Christian and the mutineering crew of the Bounty, is a group of four volcanic islands that form the last British overseas territory in the Pacific. It has a population of about 50 people, originating from four families.

The hearing is set down for a week in Auckland and will reconvene on Pitcairn Island later this month.

In 2004 and 2006, seven of the island’s 12 men faced a total of 55 sex crimes, some dating back 40 years. Six were found guilty, with four sentenced to jail terms of up to five years. The crimes included rape, incest and indecent assault against girls from the age of seven.

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