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Key deposition excerpt can be used as evidence in Cosby trial, judge rules

Posted at 11:47 PM, Apr 28, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-28 23:47:27-04

A Pennsylvania judge ruled that an excerpt of a key deposition from 2005 — in which Bill Cosby discusses using Quaaludes — can be used as evidence in his upcoming trial. The judge also ruled that an excerpt from one of Cosby’s nonfiction books discussing a drug known as “Spanish Fly” cannot be used as evidence.

Cosby faces three counts of felony aggravated indecent assault from a 2004 case involving Andrea Constand, an employee at his alma mater, Temple University. She was the first of more than 50 women who have accused Cosby of sexual misconduct.

Cosby has pleaded not guilty to all charges. Each charge carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, but the judge has the option to have him serve the sentences concurrently. The trial is set to begin June 5.

These charges are partly based on a civil deposition Cosby gave back in 2005 when Constand brought a civil lawsuit against him. Only part of the deposition that discusses Cosby’s use of Quaaludes can be used as evidence in the trial now, according to Montgomery County Common Pleas Judge Steven O’Neill’s ruling.

A representative for Cosby declined to comment on the judge’s rulings. The prosecution did not immediately respond to a CNN request for comment.

In the full deposition, Cosby talks about having extramarital affairs and giving other women drugs with their consent so they’d have sex with him. He also describes the sexual encounter with Constand, saying it was consensual.

Constand claims Cosby invited her to his home in 2004 and told her to wear comfortable clothes. Constand said she had been grappling with issues in her life, and that Cosby gave her a few pills to “take the edge off.” Afterward, Constand claims Cosby sexually assaulted her.

O’Neill also ruled that an excerpt from Cosby’s nonfiction book, “Childhood,” where he discusses using a drug known as “Spanish Fly,” cannot be used in the trial.

In the excerpt, Cosby refers to “Spanish Fly” as an “aphrodisiac so potent that it could have made Lena Horne surrender to Fat Albert.” The excerpt includes a conversation between Cosby and a couple of friends discussing how best to give the drug to a girl, either by adding it to a drink or food. The drug is referenced as a way to make girls more attracted to men.

The court documents refer to “Spanish Fly” as a “date-rape drug.”

The case will be tried in Pennsylvania’s Montgomery County, although the jurors will come from another part of the state. O’Neill ruled that the jurors should come from a separate county in February. The Pennsylvania state Supreme Court will pick where the jurors come from, but that location has not been decided yet.

This is the first time Cosby has faced criminal charges, although more than 50 women have come forward in recent years to say Cosby sexually abused them over the last four decades. In many of these cases, Cosby cannot stand trial because the statute of limitations has passed.