Prosecutor: Bill Cosby won't face charges
By MARYCLAIRE DALE, Associated Press
Last updated: 8:57 p.m., Thursday, February 17, 2005
PHILADELPHIA -- Bill Cosby will not face charges stemming from a woman's allegation that he fondled her at his suburban mansion after giving her medication that made her woozy, a prosecutor said Thursday.
Authorities found insufficient "credible, and admissible evidence ... upon which any charge against Mr. Cosby could be sustained beyond a reasonable doubt," Montgomery County District Attorney Bruce L. Castor Jr. said in a statement.
A former Temple University employee, who now lives in her native Ontario, told Canadian authorities last month that, after a night out with friends in January 2004, Cosby gave her medication that made her dizzy, then fondled her. She said she later awoke to find her bra undone and her clothes in disarray.
Cosby, 67, a Temple alumnus and booster, has denied the allegations. In a statement Thursday, his lawyer said Cosby was gratified by the decision.
"Mr. Cosby looks forward to moving on with his life," attorney Walter M. Phillips Jr. said.
Castor has said that the accuser's yearlong delay in coming forward, and her contact with Cosby in the past year, weighed in the comedian's favor.
The prosecutor said he also reviewed claims by other people that Cosby had "behaved inappropriately" toward them, but that detectives could find no instance "where anyone complained to law enforcement of conduct which would constitute a criminal offense."
The woman's attorney called the evidence strong and blasted Castor for failing to notify her before announcing his decision.
"I believe it was a very strong case. She's a very credible witness," lawyer Dolores M. Troiani said.
Troiani said her client gave prosecutors tapes of telephone calls between Cosby and the family that bolster the allegations. The calls occurred after her client contacted police, the lawyer said.
Cosby's publicist, David Brokaw, declined comment Thursday on whether the comedian had any telephone contact with the family since the investigation began.
Troiani said the prosecutor's decision caught her by surprise and she had not been able to reach her client early Thursday evening.
Castor, who announced the decision on his Web site, said he did not plan any further comment for fear his comments would be used as evidence in any possible civil lawsuit.
"Much exists in this investigation that could be used (by others) to portray persons on both sides of the issue in a less-than-flattering light," he said.
It is the policy of The Associated Press not to publish names of alleged sexual assault victims without their consent.
Troiani would not say if her client planned to sue Cosby.