Cosby’s criminal case can resume after court rejects appeal [updated]

    Bill Cosby (Mel Evans/AP, file)

    Bill Cosby (Mel Evans/AP, file)

    A Pennsylvania appeals court has rejected Bill Cosby’s attempt to halt his criminal case because of what he called a decade-old deal not to prosecute him.

    The mid-level state Superior Court ruled Monday that the criminal sex-assault case against Cosby can proceed. In three separate orders, the Court granted the Commonwealth’s motion to quash the appeal and dismissed two other filings related to the appeal.

    In a statement, Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele said he was “gratified” by the Superior Court’s decision to let the case proceed. No date has been set yet for a preliminary hearing. Cosby’s lawyers could file an appeal with the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, but it would be at the court’s discretion whether to hear it.

    Reached by phone, Cosby spokesman Andrew Wyatt said he had no comment on the orders.

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    The 78-year-old Cosby is facing trial over a 2004 encounter at his Cheltenham home with a then-Temple University employee. The woman said she was drugged and molested; Cosby said they engaged in consensual sex acts.

    Former Montgomery County District Attorney Bruce Castor has said he promised he would never prosecute Cosby and urged him to testify in the woman’s civil lawsuit. The release of that testimony last year led a new prosecutor to arrest him.

    In February, Montgomery County Common Pleas Judge Steven T. O’Neill heard arguments from Cosby’s lawyers that Castor’s promise constitutes a legally binding agreement. Ultimately, he denied their request to have the charges dropped.

    The long-married Cosby acknowledged a series of affairs and said he got Quaaludes to give to women he hoped to seduce. The comedian faces a slew of civil charges related to alleged sexual assaults spanning 40 years, but the Montgomery County criminal case is the only one where he faces jail time.

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