Andrea Constand, the first Cosby victim to go public, has recently filed a civil suit alleging former Montgomery County DA, Bruce Castor, is blocking the reopened criminal investigation into Cosby’s date rape case.
There’s another civil suit regarding the Bill Cosby scandal. This one, however, isn’t against the comedian; it’s against Bruce Castor, a former Pennsylvania District Attorney in Montgomery County. Is the former PA DA blocking Cosby criminal investigation?
The reopened criminal investigation pertains to Andrea Constand, the first Cosby victim to speak out about his habit of drugging and sexually assaulting women. Constand’s accusations were in 2005 and the comedian later settled out of court. The suit Constand has filed against Castor alleges defamation and false light due to Castor having done interviews during which he directly or indirectly implied that Constand’s accusations were inconsistent. He also allegedly said that she “exaggerated her claims in a lawsuit and therefore was not to be believed.”
Castor, the DA in 2005, chose not to pursue criminal charges against Cosby due to what he felt was a lack of evidence. It just so happens that Castor is also running for his old job, up for election soon.
There is a 12-year statute of limitations in sexual assault cases in Pennsylvania. In Constand’s case, it will run out in early 2016. To date, five representatives from the Montgomery County DA’s office spoke with Constand this summer in Canada. Last month, Risa Vetri, the current DA, said, “prosecutors have a responsibility to review past conclusions, whether their own or a predecessor’s, when current information might lead to a different decision.”
She continued, “While it takes tremendous courage for a victim of a sexual assault to stand up and speak out, charging decisions are not made based on our respect for the courage of a witness; rather they are made based upon a review of the factual information available at the time and a prosecutor’s analysis of whether allegations of criminal conduct can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.”
Vetri concluded by saying, “A decision made by one District Attorney may be revisited, at any time up to the expiration of the statute of limitations, either by a new District Attorney and/or because additional evidence has been discovered. Up until the time that the statute of limitations expires, charges can always be brought.”
Castor responded to the suit alleging that his opponent in the DA election, Kevin Steele, is the force behind Constand’s suit.
“It is the act of a desperate candidate who is down in the polls and headed to defeat. It is totally without merit.” Well, Mr. Castor, if that is true, then you shouldn’t be concerned.
Constand’s lawyer said, “Castor has questioned the timing of the suit, claiming that we have engaged in a conspiracy with his political opponent. Mr. Castor’s present accusations concerning our motivation are baseless. We look forward to proceeding with the lawsuit, regardless of the outcome of the election.”
Constand, however, is not quite so sure, according to People Magazine. A story it ran yesterday states that, if Castor wins the election, Constand may withdraw from the criminal investigation. This is understandable, as it seems that Castor has made Constand a target lately. It would be near impossible for her to work closely with him, as would be required.
Constand’s civil suit asks for damages in excess of $150,000, plus punitives.