Bill Cosby Moves to Dismiss the Criminal Charge Against Him

by Raphael Chestang 2:45 PM PST, January 11, 2016
Photo: Getty Images

On Monday, Bill Cosby's attorneys requested that a Pennsylvania court dismiss the criminal charge against him.

In a statement given to ET, Cosby's attorneys claim the charge was "illegally, improperly and unethically" brought against their client. 

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"The charges brought on Dec. 30, 2015, violate an express agreement made by the Montgomery County District Attorney in 2005, in which the Commonwealth agreed that Mr. Cosby would never be prosecuted with respect to the allegations of sexual assault made by complainant Andrea Constand," the statement reads. "This agreement, made for the express purpose of inducing Mr. Cosby to testify fully in Ms. Constand's civil litigation against him, led Mr. Cosby to give deposition testimony in 2005 and 2006 without invocation of his Constitutional rights against self-incrimination."

Last month, Cosby was charged with aggravated indecent assault -- a second degree felony -- after former Temple employee Andrea Constand alleged the comedian drugged and violated her at his mansion in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania in January 2004. As the statute of limitations regarding potential criminal offense is 12 years, the time frame of possibly reopening a case would have run out this month, but Cosby's attorneys take issue with the delay.

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"The charges should separately be dismissed on due process grounds because the over a decade delay in bringing these charges, by a District Attorney's office with subpoena power capable of obtaining Mr. Cosby's deposition testimony since it was given 10 years ago, was inexcusable and has greatly prejudiced Mr. Cosby's ability to defend himself," the statement continues.

Cosby's attorneys go on to claim that District Attorney Kevin Steele brought the charges to "fulfill campaign promises," and ask that if the charges aren't dismissed that Steele and the Montgomery County District Attorney's Office be disqualified "from any further involvement in this prosecution."

The charge carries a maximum penalty of 5-10 years in prison and a $25,000 fine.

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After Cosby's arraignment, his lawyer, Monique Pressley, appeared on the Today show via satellite to discuss Cosby's criminal charge. Cosby has denied any wrongdoing.

"My client is not guilty," Pressley told Today co-host Savannah Guthrie. "And there will be no consideration on our part of any sort of [plea] arrangement."

Cosby's preliminary hearing is set for Feb. 2.