Cosby trial
Michael Mercanti/Pool photographer Cosby hearing

Bill Cosby accuser illegally taped phone calls with him for payment, former D.A. says

Bill Cosby accuser Andrea Constand and her mother may have illegally wiretapped conversations with the comedian and asked for payments in lieu of pressing charges, according to testimony from former Montgomery County District Attorney Bruce Castor.

Castor, who has been testifying this morning at a status hearing on sexual assault charges pending against Cosby, said the comedian’s late attorney, Walter M. Phillips Jr., told him during the 2005 investigation that Constand and her mother were involved in efforts to obtain “incriminating records of Cosby.”

“If we investigated and recovered phone records and possibly wiretaps by non-law enforcement officials, we would conclude that Ms. Constand and her mother were involved in an effort to convince Mr. Cosby to pay them money in order that she would not go to police and report them for incident that occurred in Cheltenham,” Castor testified.

He said he had no reason to believe Phillips was lying, and that police recovered records of at least two wiretaps.

“If no law enforcement was involved in that tap it meant the Wiretap Act wasn’t complied with, and the people who had done those had potentially engaged in felonious behavior,” Castor said in court. “And if we used them we’d be in violation of a statute saying you can’t use illegally obtained wiretap communications.” 

Pennsylvania law requires both parties to be aware if a conversation is being recorded. And those wiretaps ended up being part of the reason Castor chose not to press charges, he said. He cited what he called inconsistent statements from Constand, as well as forensic evidence that had been impossible to recover because a year had passed between the alleged assault and her accusations to police.

“Her actions on her own,” said Castor, “including going to a lawyer before going to the police, had created a credibility issue for her that could never be improved upon.”

The hearing continues today.

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