Bill Cosby hearing: Accuser’s lawyer blasts former D.A. for not wanting ‘to alienate fans of Dr. Huxtable’

Testimony continues in the status hearing of the comedian, facing his first criminal sexual assault charges after more than a year of accusations by dozens of women.

Cosby has been accused of sexually abusing several women.

Cosby has been accused of sexually abusing several women.

ED HILLE / The Philadelphia Inquirer/ Pool

Andrea Constand’s attorney in the 2005 civil lawsuit she filed against Bill Cosby had serious doubts that then-Montgomery County District Attorney Bruce Castor was taking the case seriously.

“When she first approached Mr. Castor’s office, we were not confident he would prosecute,” said Dolores Troiani, the first witness called by the prosecution today, “because he was running for some sort of office and he would not want to alienate those fans of Dr. Huxtable.”

Troiani’s testimony began after lunch, when judge Steven O’Neil deferred a ruling about whether the case would proceed. He did not indicate when he would make one but has said he wants to do so today.

Troiani said during the civil suit Constand filed, which was later settled, Cosby’s legal team had a request: That Constand not be able to initiate any more criminal investigations against the comedian as part of their settlement. The former Temple basketball employee alleged that Cosby had drugged and sexually assaulted her at his Cheltenham home in January 2004.

The request in the settlement for Constand to not be able to hold Cosby liable to a crime was also entered as evidence. The clause read, “Constand agrees that she will not initiate any criminal complaint against Cosby arising from the underlying facts of this case.”

However, that clause ended up being stricken from the settlement.

Other than discussing the civil suit and its settlement, Troiani’s testimony largely consisted of excoriating former Montgomery County district attorney Bruce Castor, particularly his claim that Constand’s attorney had been told by then-Assistant District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman of his deal that Cosby could never be charged with sexual assault in this case. Troiani said she knew of no such declaration, and that she never talked to Ferman. She also disagreed with Castor’s testimony that his 2005 press release had special meaning for Constand’s legal team.

“He slammed her, slammed her in that press release,” Troiani said. “She’s a victim in a sexual assault. I was the first woman to try a rape case in Chester County. I was asked if you could use a different word other than penis and had attorneys asking if (the victim) had an orgasm…. Thirty years later we had a district attorney in 2005 slamming a victim.”

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