World & Nation

Prosecutors can use Cosby’s deposition at trial, judge rules

Bill Cosby
Bill Cosby arrives at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pa., for a preliminary hearing in May.
(Tracie Van Auken / European Pressphoto Agency)

A Pennsylvania judge has ruled that damaging testimony Bill Cosby gave in an accuser’s lawsuit can be used at his criminal sexual assault trial. 

The defense had insisted that Cosby only testified after being promised he wouldn’t be charged in the Andrea Constand case. 

Montgomery County Judge Steven O’Neill concluded Monday that Cosby never had a promise from prosecutors that he could never be charged. 

The 79-year-old Cosby acknowledged in the 2006 deposition that he had given young women drugs or alcohol before sexual encounters. He called them consensual, but many of the women say they were drugged and molested. 


The ruling on the deposition is one of two key pretrial issues. The judge must also decide if prosecutors can call 13 other accusers. 

The release of the deposition testimony last year prompted prosecutors to reopen Constand’s 2005 criminal complaint. 

Cosby has been charged with three felony counts of aggravated indecent assault as a result of a 2004 incident at his Pennsylvania home. The prosecution contends that the entertainer assaulted Constand, a former Temple University basketball team employee, after giving her pills.

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