Pennsylvania Appeals Court OKs Criminal Prosecution For Andrea Constand Case Against Bill Cosby
Apr 26, 2016 12:52 AM EDT
An appeals court in Pennsylvania has ruled that the criminal sexual assault charges against Bill Cosby from the Andrea Constand lawsuit will not be dismissed. This comes after the comedian and his team appealed for his charges to be thrown out.
In a report by The New York Times, the latest court ruling will open the way for the case to proceed. Court officials said they will soon be scheduling a preliminary hearing in the criminal case and it is possible that it would be this May.
Cosby has been sued in civil court by several women but the Pennsylvania case is the only criminal case to make it as far as this point. The case involves Constand, a former Temple University staff member. Constand claims that she was drugged and molested by Cosby at his suburban Philadelphia home in 2004. Cosby did acknowledge that he did give Constand Benadryl before they engaged in sex acts. He said that the encounter was consensual.
The 78-year-old comedian denied any wrongdoing against Constand and also said that the other more than 50 women's claims about their encounter with him are lies. Andrew Wyatt, a spokesman for Cosby, did not immediately comment about the possibility of the comedian appealing the latest ruling.
However, Kevin R. Steele, the district attorney for Montgomery County whose office is prosecuting the case, said the court agreed with him that Cosby has no right to appeal at this stage. Steele was the one who made a motion to have the appeals of Cosby be suppressed, Deadline reported.
Predecessors of Steele as district attorney also reportedly made a binding commitment in 2005 to never prosecute Cosby in connection with his encounter with Constand, The Guardian reported. Cosby and his team have been working on to have the charges dismissed since the December 2015 charging.
A 2005 lawsuit regarding Constand was dismissed back in 2006 after Cosby paid her with a financial settlement. Details about this were not revealed. However, Cosby said that the latest lawsuit of Constand against him is a breach of contract as they agreed that Constand can no longer file a lawsuit against him after the 2006 settlement.