L.A. County prosecutors won’t charge Bill Cosby in two sexual assault cases
Once called “America’s Dad,” Bill Cosby built a career around his Everyman image; now he’s facing allegations of sexual assault. Here are some of his career and life moments.(Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)
Los Angeles prosecutors on Wednesday declined to bring criminal charges against Bill Cosby in the only two open cases locally in which he is accused of sexually assaulting women.
The move comes less than a week after prosecutors in Pennsylvania filed the first charges against Cosby, accusing him of drugging and sexually assaulting a 31-year-old woman.
The case prompted some legal experts to wonder whether Los Angeles prosecutors would bring charges against Cosby. Many of the allegations against him are based here.
But prosecutors concluded that there was not enough evidence in one case and that the second case exceeded the statute of limitations.
One of the cases involved Chloe Goins, 25. She told Los Angeles police and prosecutors that the comedian gave her a drink that caused her to black out during a party at the Playboy Mansion in 2008.
When she awoke, she said, she found herself naked on a bed with her breast moist and with Cosby biting her toes with his pants around his ankles.
Cosby’s attorneys have denied the accusations and said he was in New York at the time of the party.
Goins reported the allegation last year and was interviewed for 2½ hours by an LAPD detective and again in November by a prosecutor.
She initially alleged the attack occurred at the Midsummer Night’s Dream Party, held in August 2008. During the investigation, however, she told police she was not certain what the party was that she attended.
Goins is not identified in the district attorney’s documents but has previously made her allegations public.
Videos of the Midsummer party from the perimeter of Holmby Hills mansion showed no images of Goins or a woman she said accompanied her, according to a report declining the prosecution.
Cosby was in New York the weekend of the party, prosecutors said. Detectives did not find Cosby’s name on any guest lists for 56 documented events at the Playboy Mansion in the summer of 2008. But they did find his name on the guest list for a February party, the report noted.
The woman who Goins said accompanied her to the mansion told police she did not know Goins and never visited the Playboy estate, according to the declination filed by Deputy Dist. Atty. Jodi M. Link.
Link noted that two crimes described by Goins, misdemeanor battery and misdemeanor indecent exposure, are beyond the statute of limitations.
The district attorney also reviewed potential felonies still within the statute of limitations. The prosecutors determined there was no evidence to support charges of sexual battery by restraint or sexual assault by intoxication.
Spencer Kuvin, Goins’ attorney, said the D.A.’s decison was a “disappointment” but in no way affects his client’s civil case against Cosby.
The second case involved a woman who said that Cosby raped her in 1965 when she was 17 years old. The woman said Cosby took her to a Hollywood jazz club, bought her drinks and took her to a home where he raped her, according to the district attorney’s documents.
Prosecutors said the case was beyond the statute of limitations but did not comment further on the case.
Dozens of women have come forward to say Cosby assaulted them during the long decades of his stardom, starting in the 1960s. In many cases, the statute of limitations prevents prosecutors from filing charges.
Cosby has denied wrongdoing and has filed suit against seven of his accusers, claiming they have defamed him.
Statutes of limitations vary widely from state to state when it comes to sexual crimes, from as short as a year for misdemeanors in some states to no deadline for rape in others. The charges filed this week in Montgomery County, Pa., came barely a month before the end of the 12-year window that prosecutors there had to charge Cosby in the alleged 2004 assault.
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