NORRISTOWN >> Prosecutors won’t make references to entertainer Bill Cosby’s alleged sexual contact with women other than accuser Andrea Constand and the one other woman a judge previously said can testify when his sexual assault trial gets under way next month, court papers revealed.
In a letter addressed to Montgomery County Judge Steven T. O’Neill, Assistant District Attorney M. Stewart Ryan clarified the prosecution’s position on issues raised in a March 28 defense motion. In that motion, defense lawyers Brian J. McMonagle and Angela C. Agrusa asked the judge to exclude as trial evidence testimony Cosby gave during a previous civil deposition that is related to women who allegedly had sexual contact with him, other than Constand and the one other woman, “Prior Victim Number Six,” that the judge previously said can testify at Cosby’s June 5 trial.
“The commonwealth does not intend to affirmatively reference defendant’s sexual contact with women other than the victim and Prior Victim Number Six. This does not include previously identified portions of defendant’s deposition where he references obtaining Quaaludes in order to give them to women for the purpose of having sexual contact with them, the court has permitted introduction of this evidence,” Ryan wrote in the April 28 letter.
In a ruling issued last week, O’Neill said prosecutors can present to a jury Cosby’s previous deposition admissions regarding his use of Quaaludes.
“Furthermore, the commonwealth reserves the right to introduce evidence of defendant’s sexual contact with women other than the victim and Prior Victim Number Six in the form of rebuttal, fair response or for any other permissible purpose should defendant present evidence or elicit testimony that requires such response,” Ryan cautioned.
The defense also sought to exclude deposition testimony of Mr. Cosby related to “any alleged offer or provision of money or educational funds to other women.”
Ryan informed the judge prosecutors do not intend to introduce such evidence but reserve the right to do so in the form of rebuttal should Cosby present evidence or elicit testimony that requires such a response.
O’Neill sought clarification from prosecutors on the evidentiary matters identified in the March 28 defense motion. With the prosecution’s clarification filed, the judge denied the defense requests on Wednesday.
Cosby, 79, faces a June 5 trial on charges of aggravated indecent assault in connection with his alleged contact with Constand, a former Temple University athletic department employee, after plying her with blue pills and wine at his Cheltenham home sometime between mid-January and mid-February 2004.
Jury selection gets under way in Pittsburgh May 22.
Earlier this year, the judge ruled only one of 13 other women who accused Cosby of alleged uncharged sexual misconduct can testify against him at the trial. The judge said prosecutors can present only the testimony of “Prior Alleged Victim Six” and not the testimony of the other 12 that District Attorney Kevin R. Steele wanted as prosecution witnesses.
Prosecutors claim Cosby provided incriminating testimony regarding Quaaludes when he was deposed in a 2005 civil suit brought against him by Constand and they successfully argued a jury should be permitted to hear that testimony. Cosby was deposed in connection with the lawsuit over four days in September 2005 and March 2006. The civil suit was subsequently settled in October 2006 for an undisclosed amount.
In that deposition, Cosby, according to court documents, admitted that in the past he obtained Quaaludes to give to women with whom he wanted to have sex.
Cosby has suggested his contact with Constand was consensual.
The case represents the first time Cosby, who played Dr. Cliff Huxtable on “The Cosby Show” from 1984 to 1992, has been charged with a crime despite allegations from dozens of women who claimed they were assaulted by the entertainer.
If convicted of the charges at trial, William Henry Cosby Jr., as his name appears on charging documents, faces a possible maximum sentence of 15 to 30 years in prison. He remains free on 10 percent of $1 million bail, pending trial.
The newspaper does not normally identify victims of sex crimes without their consent but is using Constand’s name because she has identified herself publicly.