Did prosecutors destroy evidence in Cosby’s sexual assault case?
By Stacy M. Brown
NNPA Newswire Contributor
As Montgomery County prosecutors continue to pursue a verdict in the Bill Cosby sexual assault case involving former Temple University employee Andrea Constand, lawyers for the entertainer have filed several motions, including two arguing that the case against him should be dismissed.
And, while such motions are considered procedural and are rarely granted, the “Uptown Saturday Night” star has presented a compelling case for dismissal.
According to court documents filed by Cosby’s lawyers, the court should dismiss all charges against Cosby because, by Montgomery County, Pennsylvania prosecutors’ own admission, they have not only failed to disclose evidence, but have also destroyed exculpatory evidence.
“Specifically, the prosecution recently disclosed for the first time that, prior to the first trial in this case, a prosecutor and two detectives interviewed a critical witness, Marguerite Jackson who told them that in 2003 or 2004, the complaining witness, Andrea Constand, a co-worker and friend, had told her that she had not been sexually assaulted, but she could say that she had, file charges, and get money,” the bombshell filing said.
It continued: “Yet, the prosecution failed to disclose to the defense that they met with [Jackson] and that they destroyed the notes of their meeting.”
Cosby spokesman Andrew Wyatt released the court documents to the NNPA Newswire on, Jan. 25.
Neither Cosby’s attorneys nor prosecutors offered comment on Thursday.
Cosby’s team also argued that it’s reasonable to infer that the prosecution allowed Constand to testify falsely at the first trial that she did not know or remember Jackson.
Also, based on a Jan. 17, 2018 telephone conference call with the court, Assistant District Attorney Stewart Ryan admitted that he and two detectives spoke with Jackson and learned that Constand and Jackson worked together, had been friends, and had shared hotel rooms on multiple occasions.
Despite their knowledge of the relationship, Cosby lawyers alleged that prosecutors stood silent while Constand testified under oath that she didn’t know Jackson, and they persuaded the court to bar the defense from exploring the topic with Constand through cross-examination.
Judge Steven O’Neill also denied Cosby’s lawyers’ motion to call Jackson as a witness.
“The cumulative effect of the wrongdoing in this case, and the politically and emotionally charged context of this case, elevates the misconduct to a level of a constitutional violation and prosecutorial overreach depriving Cosby of any meaningful right to a fair trial,” Cosby’s attorneys wrote Thursday. “Such misconduct warrants dismissal of the charges.”
In another motion, Cosby’s attorneys argued that prosecutors also have failed to prove that they brought the case within the 12-year statute of limitation and there’s no way to prove it, because they admittedly are unsure of the timeline.
Constand alleged that Cosby assaulted her in early 2004—though previously she admitted their encounter could have been in 2003. Prosecutors didn’t file charges until 2015.
It’s unclear when O’Neill will issue a ruling on the motions.
Jury selection has been scheduled for March and the trial is expected to begin in April.