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Former DA defends Bill Cosby deal behind overturned conviction

Former DA defends Bill Cosby deal behind overturned conviction

Former Pennsylvanian prosecutor Bruce Castor has justified the immunity deal he struck with Bill Cosby that ultimately led to his freedom this week — insisting his successor should have known not to ignore it.

The former Montgomery County district attorney told WPVI that he only struck the unusual deal when he’d exhausted his legal options to charge Cosby with sex crimes — but felt he could still help accuser Andrea Constand get millions in a civil suit.

“In 2005, I had come to the conclusion that there was not enough evidence to arrest and convict him,” Castor said of the actor and accusations that he drugged and molested Constand in his Pennsylvania mansion in 2004.

“The choices became do nothing or do something. I chose to do something,” said Castor, who this year was part of former President Donald Trump’s legal team in his impeachment trial over the Capitol siege.

Castor offered Cosby immunity from prosecution only if he participated in a deposition where he was unable to plead the Fifth Amendment.

In that deposition, Cosby admitted giving Quaaludes to “women with whom he wanted to have sexual intercourse,” court filings have said.

Cosby leaves his home with spokesperson Andrew Wyatt the day after being released from prison.
Cosby leaves his home with spokesperson Andrew Wyatt the day after being released from prison.
Stephen Yang

Cantor said his hope had always been that Cosby “would say things that were incriminating and they would then use that to leverage a settlement worth millions of dollars.”

“Well, that’s exactly what happened,” he told WPVI of the $3.5 million payout.

Despite the immunity deal, Cosby was charged in 2015 — after damning details from the 10-year-old deposition had been unsealed — leading to his conviction and three- to 10-year prison sentence in 2018.

But the deal is also why that conviction was overturned Wednesday, with Pennsylvania’s highest court ruling that the immunity should have been upheld and protected Cosby from charges.

Cantor insisted he warned his successor, noting how the Supreme Court ruling “cited my memo, my private memo” to the DA at the time, Kevin Steele.

Bruce Castor
Castor justified the immunity deal by saying, “The choices became do nothing or do something. I chose to do something.”
AP

The memo warned, “Don’t do this because you’re going to have a problem with using the deposition testimony,” he told WPVI, saying that “it only existed because I said I wasn’t going to prosecute Cosby.”

He previously said that Cosby “would’ve had to have been nuts to say those things if there was any chance he could’ve been prosecuted.”

As well as getting his freedom, Cosby may now even be able to sue over how his case was handled, Cantor said.

“Whether Montgomery County has liability, whether Kevin Steele has a disciplinary liability, remains to be seen,” said Castor.

Steele released a statement Wednesday saying that Cosby “was found guilty by a jury and now goes free on a procedural issue that is irrelevant to the facts of the crime.”

“My hope is that this decision will not dampen the reporting of sexual assaults by victims,” the statement said.

“We still believe that no one is above the law — including those who are rich, famous and powerful.”

About the author

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James Partridge

James has worked in various news organizations and now aims to make Stock Market Pioneer one of the best and fastest growing news websites in the U.S. He contributes to the US and World sections.

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