Cosby Returns to Court Tuesday in Assault Case

NORRISTOWN, Pa. (CN) – Bill Cosby will make his first court appearance Tuesday since the judge presiding over his assault case refused to suppress old deposition testimony in which the comedian admitted to drugging women before having sex with them.

Pennsylvania authorities charged Cosby in mid-2015 shortly after a federal judge ordered the release of civil deposition testimony that had been sealed for a decade.

By that point dozens of women had come forward with accusations dating back to the 1970s about being drugged and raped by Cosby.

The only accuser whose claims hurdled the statute of limitations is Andrea Constand, a former director of operations for the women’s basketball program at Temple University, where Cosby had been a trustee.

Constand says Cosby drugged and raped her at his Cheltenham, Pa., home in 2005, but the Montgomery County district attorney in office at the time declined to prosecute her case.

Resorting to a civil complaint, Constand reached a settlement with Cosby, and the terms of this deal remain under wraps.

Now that Cosby faces a trial over his encounter with Constand, a chief piece of the evidence in the case is the deposition testimony Cosby gave in 2005 and 2006.

“When you got the quaaludes, was it in your mind that you were going to use these quaaludes for young women that you wanted to have sex with?” Dolores Troiani, one of Constand’s attorneys, had asked Cosby in one deposition.

“Yes,” Cosby said.

A defense attorney would not let Cosby answer when Troiani asked if he “ever give any of those young women quaaludes without their knowledge?”

Cosby, now 79, wanted the Court of Common Pleas to suppress those statements, but Judge Steven O’Neill refused last week, saying Cosby cannot show that former DA Bruce Castor made any agreement or “promise not to prosecute, only an exercise of prosecutorial discretion.”

At the last pretrial hearing, attorney Brian McMonagle said Cosby is nearly blind and suffers memory problems in his advanced age that make it highly prejudicial for him to go on trial now for a 2005 encounter.

Cosby faces another round of pretrial hearings on Dec. 13 and 14.

O’Neill is still set to rule on whether prosecutors can call 13 other women who claim that Cosby drugged and assaulted them.

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