Bill Cosby filed a motion Monday to dismiss sexual assault charges brought against him, saying they violate a 2005 civil-case agreement and are effectively a form of entrapment.
In the motion, lawyers for the comedian accuse the Montgomery County, Pa., District Attorney’s Office of bringing charges of drugging and raping a woman “illegally, improperly and unethically” for political grandstanding purposes.
The charges “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 filing reads, according to a report by WCAU-TV, Philadelphia’s NBC affiliate.
Mr. Cosby’s motion said the agreement led the comedian to testify in Ms. Constand’s lawsuit but notes that the state now plans to use that testimony to support criminal charges that could send Mr. Cosby to prison.
The criminal charges, filed on Dec. 30, stem from claims by Ms. Constand that in 2004 Mr. Cosby had plied her with pills and wine at his suburban Philadelphia home. With her thus left incapable of resisting, he then violated her, she claims.
Dozens of women have made similar claims about Mr. Cosby in a pattern going back decades, but, because of willingness to testify, statute-of-limitations reasons and different social attitudes over the decades, none before now had led to criminal charges.
Besides asking the court to dismiss the charges, the Cosby legal team also asked that District Attorney Kevin Steele be barred from any further action against the comedian, who was once among America’s most-beloved figures, as punishment for the prosecutor’s “intentional breach of the Commonwealth’s non-prosecution agreement, and due to repeated violations of ethical rules.”