Bill Cosby’s deposition admitting he gave women drugs will be used in criminal case

On Monday, a Pennsylvania judge ruled that Bill Cosby’s testimony about giving women drugs will be admissible at his criminal trial. This is good news for prosecutors and potentially super damaging for Cosby’s defense. Actually, his lawyers have been fighting to suppress this testimony since last February. It’s from a 2006 deposition related to a civil suit brought by Andrea Constand that was eventually settled, and Cosby’s legal team insists that he only testified at the time because he had a promise from then-district attorney Bruce Castor that he would never bring criminal charges against Cosby for the case.

But, there’s no written agreement that says anything of the sort. There is, however, an email from Castor to his successor saying that he did make a deal (so that Cosby wouldn’t be able to use the Fifth Amendment while being deposed). Still, Montgomery County Judge Steven O’Neill decided that wasn’t enough and denied the motion to suppress the 2006 testimony.

In that deposition, Cosby admitted to being with Constand in 2004. “I don’t hear her say anything. And I don’t feel her say anything,” he said. “And so I continue and I go into the area that is somewhere between permission and rejection. I am not stopped.”

Then he talked about quaaludes, which most of his accusers allege Cosby gave them before allegedly assaulting them. Cosby said, “Quaaludes happen to be the drug that kids, young people were using to party with and there were times when I wanted to have them just in case.” The attorney asked him, “When you got the quaaludes, was it in your mind that you were going to use these quaaludes for young women that you wanted to have sex with?” Cosby responded with a simple “yes.”

Specifically with Constand, he admitted to giving her Benadryl and breaking the pills up so she would take them. He did not tell her what the pills were (they had been talking, according to Cosby, about stress-related neck pain). He then described a sexual encounter in which she fell asleep.

This testimony from the civil suit, which Cosby settled with Constand in 2006, was previously sealed but now it will be used by prosecutors at his criminal trial. Prosecutors will likely also have 13 other women testify against Cosby, although the criminal charge is strictly for the alleged 2004 incident with Constand. Prosecutors will try to establish a pattern showing that Cosby gave drugs to women to have sex with them. All the women testifying against him claim Cosby gave them a pill, so the 2006 testimony from Cosby himself about giving Constand pills without her knowledge will likely strengthen their argument.

Cosby’s deposition testimony is pretty nasty when you read through it; it’s no wonder his lawyers don’t want it in court. Which is is probably the best reason for it be to admitted during the criminal trial.

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