News Blog NG

For 24/7 informative news, reporting, and current affairs blog

30% Discount Sales of Medici Terrace By Sujimoto Fully Furnished Luxury 4-Bedroom

Advert

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Uncertainty Whether Cosby Revelations Could Hurt Him in Court

Bill Cosby faces defamation, civil and criminal cases.© Matt Rourke/Associated Press Bill Cosby faces defamation, civil and criminal cases.

New revelations about the sexual behavior of Bill Cosby have been gratifying to many of the women who have accused him of drugging and sexually assaulting them.


The disclosures, from a deposition he provided in a 2005 civil suit, have also further altered the public perception of Mr. Cosby. Once a beloved entertainer and a paternal role model, Mr. Cosby in his own words offers up a candid picture of himself as a serial philanderer, who used his fame as well as powerful drugs to pursue and persuade young women to have sex with him.
Yet the picture is much less clear about whether the new information will lead to any legal findings against Mr. Cosby. He currently faces two defamation cases, in Massachusetts and in California; a civil case in California; and a criminal investigation into a complaint brought by a woman in Los Angeles.
Legal experts said the deposition, obtained by The New York Times, which published excerpts from it over the weekend, could become a useful instrument in the current legal challenges. Yet they also point out that the burden of proof is high, and that it could be difficult to bring new lawsuits about incidents that happened many years ago.
The deposition could have its greatest ramifications in the case of the two defamation suits, lawyers said, if there are blatant inconsistencies between what Mr. Cosby said publicly in recent months in characterizing the women’s accusations, and what he admitted to in his testimony.
“He could be in the cross hairs,” said David S. Korzenik, a media defense attorney in New York. “If he admitted to statements in the deposition that are being challenged in the defamation case, that could be harmful to his defense.”
He added: “In that case it would suggest that he was making statements that were either negligently or knowingly false.”
The difficulty for his accusers, he said, is that there is a high bar — they need to show Mr. Cosby was deliberately being false, even maliciously so.
Mr. Cosby is currently fighting to have the defamation case brought by three women in Massachusetts dismissed.
Joseph Cammarata, a lawyer representing the women in the case, said that if the judge allowed the case to go forward, the deposition would be critically important in the arguments.
“It is very, very powerful and it goes to the core issues of the case,” Mr. Cammarata said. “The issues include whether the three women were truth-tellers.”
A spokesman for Mr. Cosby, Andrew Wyatt, declined to comment. Mr. Cosby, 78, has consistently denied the accusations and has never been charged with a crime.
Gloria Allred, a lawyer who represents more than a dozen women who say Mr. Cosby sexually assaulted them, said the excerpts from his deposition showed that he preyed on young women to have sexual contact with them.
Ms. Allred said she has been contacted by more women alleging sexual misconduct by Mr. Cosby since the admissions in the deposition transcript were reported over the weekend, but she could not yet say whether there would be more legal action against Mr. Cosby beyond the existing cases.
One of her clients, Judy Huth, has filed a civil suit against Mr. Cosby alleging that in 1974, when she was 15, he forced her to perform a sex act on him at the Playboy Mansion. Mr. Cosby’s lawyers have asked the California Supreme Court to dismiss the lawsuit. Ms. Allred said the court was now reviewing the case and would probably decide within the next 60 days whether to grant Mr. Cosby’s petition for review.
In court papers, a lawyer for Mr. Cosby had previously said that Ms. Huth’s claim was “meritless” and “a shakedown.”
A lawyer for another woman, Chloe Goins, who claims she was sexually assaulted by Mr. Cosby at the Playboy Mansion in 2008, when she was 18, said a criminal investigation was proceeding into her case in Los Angeles. The lawyer, Spencer T. Kuvin, said Ms. Goins had been interviewed by the Los Angeles Police Department for two and a half hours, and he had responded to additional requests for information.
A spokesman for the Police Department, Drake Madison, would confirm only that there was an open and ongoing investigation into a complaint against Mr. Cosby, but would not confirm any more details.
Should the criminal investigation not proceed further, Mr. Kuvin said, the deposition could be crucial evidence in a civil case involving Ms. Goins.
Through the four days, and nearly 1,000 pages of testimony, Mr. Cosby unwaveringly denied the allegations brought by the plaintiff in the 2005 case, Andrea Constand, and 13 other women — anonymous at the time — who provided support for her claims. He maintained that any drug use or sex was consensual.
On Monday, one of Mr. Cosby’s lawyers criticized the release of the deposition in comments published by The Philadelphia Inquirer. The Times obtained the document from the court-reporting service on the Constand case.
“How that deposition became public without being court-sanctioned is something we are going to pursue and deal with very vigorously,” said Patrick O’Connor, vice chairman of the Cozen O’Connor law firm, according to the newspaper. “It’s an outrage that the court processes weren’t followed here.”
In a statement, The Times said it had obtained the transcript legally. “The judge in the case had declined in 2005 to enter a confidentiality order making the depositions confidential so there was no court order sealing the testimony, then or now,” it said. “Once we obtained the transcript, we were free to report on Mr. Cosby’s testimony.”
Mr. O’Connor did not respond to calls seeking comment.
Kristina Ruehli, 72, one of the 13 women who came forward with anonymous sworn statements to support Ms. Constand, said she was considering joining a defamation suit against Mr. Cosby now that she knew some of what he said in his deposition. More important, she said, Mr. Cosby’s deposition “gives us our lives back.”

“Now we know that there will be people that listen to us and we won’t be laughed at,” she said. “I do think this has really, really, really broken a wall down.”
[MSN News]


No comments:

Post a Comment

Share Your Views and Comment on This Post, Thanks.

Featured Post

WORLD CUP PROMO: Get a 15% Discount with a Spread Balance of 36 months in any of our Solar Power Package.

Capture all Your World Cup Moments with 24 hrs Power! Catch the Excitement in the air! Capture those thrilling World Cup moments in Ru...