Key piece of evidence in Cosby’s criminal trial will be heard in court — literally

     Bill Cosby is shown in 2015. (Bastiaan Slabbers, for NewsWorks, file)

    Bill Cosby is shown in 2015. (Bastiaan Slabbers, for NewsWorks, file)

    Montgomery County Judge Steven O’Neill has ruled the recording of a phone call between entertainer Bill Cosby and his accuser’s mother, Gianna Constand, is admissible as evidence.

    Cosby’s lawyers argued the recording violated Pennsylvania’s Wiretapping and Electronic Surveillance Act — and so should not be considered during the trial. In the commonwealth, both parties on a call must consent to being recorded.

    However, neither Constand nor Cosby were in Pennsylvania at the time. The entertainer called Constand, who lives in Canada, from his home in California.

    Arguments presented in court pitted Pennsylvania’s law on recording phone calls against Canada’s, where recording without both callers’ knowledge is fair game.

    In his decision, O’Neill explained his reasoning as one of not-overstepping the bounds of what Pennsylvania law can do — saying the court’s decision shouldn’t interfere with Canada’s ability to decide what rights its citizens have.

    “Therefore, because Canada has a greater interest in the ability of their citizens to legally record phone calls with one-party consent … the phone call was legally recorded,” he wrote.

    In the call, Cosby discusses giving Andrea Constand money for college, while her mother asks him for information about pills he gave her daughter on the night of the alleged sexual assault.

    On the call, the 79-year-old entertainer asked Gianna Constand if he was being recorded to which she replied, “No, not at all. I have a parrot.”

    “I know this is a beep,” said Cosby.

    The entertainer faces three criminal assault charges resulting from the 2004 incident.

    Cosby’s attorney are also fighting to keep deposition testimony he gave during a 2005 civil case, as well as proposed testimony by 13 other alleged victims, out of his criminal trial, now scheduled to begin June 5.

    You can read the entire order here: 

     

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    Findings of Fact Conclusions of Law and Order Sur Defendant s Motion to Suppress (PDF)

    Findings of Fact Conclusions of Law and Order Sur Defendant s Motion to Suppress (Text)

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