Forget Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane’s recent court appearances. The case defining the race for Montgomery County District Attorney is a 2005 suit against comedian Bill Cosby.
In addition to a round of negative campaign ads from Democrat Kevin Steele and Republican Bruce Castor accusing one another of failing to prosecute Cosby, Andrea Constand, a former plaintiff in a sexual assault case against the comedian, has sued Castor, the former county district attorney, claiming defamation.
Castor declined to prosecute Cosby in a criminal suit in 2005. A year later, Constand settled a civil suit with the comedian out of court.
Earlier this year, details of Cosby’s deposition from that civil suit came to light. In that case, Cosby admitted to giving some women Quaaludes, a powerful sedative, before engaging in sexual activity with them. In the last year, more than 40 women have come forward with claims of being drugged and sexually molested by the actor.
Constand maintains that Cosby, a mentor she met while basketball manager at Temple University, where Cosby was on the board of trustees, drugged her and assaulted her at his Cheltenham home in 2004. Cosby said the strongest drug he gave her was Benadryl.
After announcing he would run for re-election to the district attorney’s office, the suit alleges, Castor twisted the details of Constand’s case repeatedly for his own political benefit.
For example, announcing his candidacy on MSNBC in 2014, Castor told newscasters he would reopen the case against Cosby and “tear that deposition apart.” Later, he told press that the statute of limitations had ended and that it would therefore be impossible to prosecute the case.
That turned out not to be true.
Castor also told reporters that Constand’s case had “inconsistencies,” and tweeted, “Cosby victim told police much different than she told court in her lawsuit … troublesome for the good guys.”
Constand seeks $150,000 plus damages and attorney’s fees for one count each of defamation and invasion of privacy. Castor would not comment on the lawsuit. He said the attack ad by Steele is factually inaccurate.
Steele, an assistant district attorney in Montgomery County, would not confirm or deny whether current District Attorney Risa Ferman plans to reopen the case.