A Los Angeles judge was strongly inclined Friday to allow Bill Cosby invoke your fifth amendment privilege of the US Constitution and avoid giving a statement self-incriminating in lawsuit from a woman who alleges that the comedian sexually abused her in the mid-1970s, when she was 15 years old.
In a hearing to discuss the issue, the judge of Los Angeles Superior Court Craig Karlan agreed with Cosby’s attorney in which the 84-year-old actor has a reasonable fear of facing criminal charges again for one or more accusations of sexual abuse that have been publicly aired against you, and you have the right to avoid saying anything under oath that could give rise to such charges.
“It appears that he is in reasonable fear of prosecution, and if new information comes out, that could cause a prosecutor to change his mind,” Karlan said. “I don’t see how you could conclude otherwise, other than to point out that he is in reasonable fear.”
The lawyers of Judy Huth, who alleges that Cosby forced her to perform a sexual act on him at the Mansion Play boy circa 1974, they seek to force Cosby to give a second statement.
The comedian gave an initial shortly after the lawsuit was filed in 2014, before he faced two criminal trials and was found guilty in Pennsylvania, the guilty plea was ultimately overturned.
Huth’s attorney, John Steven West argued that the allegations against Cosby have been aired for years and all go back decades. He said criminal charges have already been filed.
“The available facts overwhelmingly show that Mr. Cosby has no real fear of prosecution,” West said. “Despite the fact that for 16 years his name has been at the forefront of allegations of sexual misconduct, there has been exactly one case prosecuted.”
West noted that police Los Angeles investigated Huth’s allegations seven years ago, that the district attorney declined to press charges and that other prosecutors have done the same with other Cosby accusers.
The judge disagreed with the argument.
“The fact that prosecutors refuse to file a case does not mean that a newly elected prosecutor does not have a different point of view,” Karlan said. “Or that any future district attorney is bound by a decision not to prosecute.”
The judge planned to issue a written ruling later, but it left little room for doubt that it will go in Cosby’s favor.
Cosby’s lawyer, Jennifer Bonjean argued that the judge agreed that the Pennsylvania case served as a warning. Cosby, believing that she had assurances from a prosecutor that she would not face charges, was prosecuted after making counterproductive disclosures in a civil lawsuit from 2005.
“They told him they weren’t going to prosecute him,” Bonjean said. “And then 10 years later they revoked this after what? That he gave a statement.”
This non-compliance by the authorities was what led an appeals court in Pennsylvania vacated Cosby’s guilty plea in June, after he had spent nearly three years in prison.
Cosby had become the first celebrity to be found guilty of sexual abuse in the age of #MeToo when the jury at his second trial found him guilty in 2018 of drugging and abusing college athletic administrator Andrea Constand in 2004.
Earlier in the week Bonjean asked the US Supreme Court to reject an attempt by prosecutors to revive the case.
Cosby was already a pioneering black actor and stand-up comedian when he created the popular show “Cosby Show” in the 1980s. Years later, multiple accusations of sexual abuse destroyed his image as “America’s Dad” and led to multi-million dollar legal settlements with at least eight women.