A promise made to Bill Cosby by a former Pennsylvania prosecutor may be the key to getting the criminal charges against the fallen icon dismissed. Last month, Cosby was charged with three counts of felony aggravated assault for allegedly raping former Temple University employee Andrea Constand. But according to Cosby's defense team, district attorney Bruce Castor told Cosby in 2005 that he would agree not to press criminal charges against Cosby in the Constand case if he agreed to give a deposition — and not evoke his Fifth Amendment privilege — in her civil case.
Details of the agreement are reportedly contained in an email from Castor to his successor, Risa Ferman. In the email Castor said that he made the verbal agreement with Cosby in the hopes that it would give Constand the best chance to win her civil suit against the comedian.
The admission that Cosby made during his criminal deposition is now a major piece of evidence for the new prosecutor Kevin Steele’s case against the comedian. Steele is not buying Castor's claim that he promised Cosby there would be no criminal charges, saying, “There is a specific legal method to grant immunity. That was not done in 2005.” Steele also adds that during Castor’s 2005 press release, in which he claimed there was not enough evidence to prosecute Cosby, Castor said he would “reconsider this decision should the need arise.”
Cosby’s lawyers filed a motion asking the charges be dropped, asserting that the charges were “illegally, improperly, and unethically brought by District Attorney Kevin Steele and his office.” They went on to say that Steele repudiated the agreement Cosby had with the DA office to “fulfill campaign promises.”
Steele’s office plans to file a response to Cosby’s lawyers motion to dismiss, which his office maintains has no merit.
Catch up with the latest on the scandal in the video below.
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(Photos from left: Montgomery County District Attorney's Office via Getty Images, AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)