Saying his rights have been "repeatedly trampled" and his right to a fair trial has been compromised, comedian and TV star Bill Cosby's attorneys have filed a motion to dismiss sexual assault criminal charges against him in Montgomery County, Pa.
It is the first in what are expected to be several pleadings challenging criminal and civil cases, according to a representative of his attorneys.
According to the motion, it says the DA pledged not to prosecute Cosby in 2005 following assault claims by a Temple basketball coach but has broken that promise.
"The DA found there was 'insufficient credible and admissible evidence' to charge Mr. Cosby at the time," said his lawyers. "Mr. Cosby then waived his right to invoke the Fifth Amendment when testifying in a civil case brought by Ms. Constand – based on the DA’s vow never to prosecute him. That case was later settled."
They pointed to the decade-plus between that 2005 date and the current prosecution.
"During that lengthy delay, numerous actors—the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania; a federal judge with a baseless theory; a lawyer who parades her clients’ untimely, unverifiable claims before the media; and a district attorney who publicly branded a celebrity for his own political gain—created a perfect storm of prejudice, bias, and delay that requires dismissal of the stale charges against Bill Cosby."
After promising not to prosecute Cosby, they argue, "the Commonwealth broke its promise."
They also say that a judge's unsealing of Cosby's confidential testimony in 2015 was an irreversible error after the deposition transcript "spread like wildfire."
They allege that the prosecutors are trying to shore up a weak case with testimony from 13 other women accusing Cosby of sexual misconduct.
They also argue that over those 10 years of inaction on the case, the prosecution gained a big advantage through "death, memory loss, and Mr. Cosby's failing eyesight."
“'Shoot first, ask questions later' is not the way our criminal justice system is supposed to operate," reads the petition. "The time has come for the Court to put an end to this tempest. The constitutional guarantee of due process 'protects defendants from having to defend stale charges.'”
Cosby is represented by Angela Agrusa of Liner LLP and Brian McMonagle of McMonagle, Perri, McHugh & Mischak.