The election of a new district attorney in Montgomery County, Penn. could spell trouble for embattled comedian Bill Cosby, according to The Guardian.
Democrat Kevin Steele defeated Republican Bruce Castor in the district attorney’s race. Castor, who previously held the position from 2000 to 2008, declined to file charges against Cosby after former Temple University employee Andrea Constand said the comedian had drugged and sexually assaulted her in 2005. Cosby admitted under oath that he had provided women with drugs so he could have sex with them.
The Guardian reported that Castor questioned Constand’s credibility. He later admitted that he believed Cosby was guilty, but doubted he could win a case against him.
In a statement Castor said, “The district attorney finds insufficient, credible and admissible evidence exists upon which any charge against Mr. Cosby could be sustained beyond a reasonable doubt.”
Constand later filed a defamation suit against Castor. But things may change now that Steele is in charge. In his victory speech, he promised to “to fight for victims.” Cosby owns a mansion in Montgomery County, Steele’s new jurisdiction. Constand, the woman who accused him of sexual assault, later filed a civil suit against Cosby and reached a settlement. According to The Guardian, more than 40 women have come forward with allegations that Cosby drugged and raped them. The allegations follow a similar pattern. The women were invited to meet Cosby in a private setting, he offered them a drink, they blacked out and when they woke up they realized they had been sexually assaulted. Constand’s story was similar to the other accusers.
A local Republican donor told The Guardian the new D.A. would likely move forward with charges against Cosby because it would be a high-profile case, which are prized by ambitious district attorneys.
“Whoever wins has to go after him now,” said the donor. “Castor took the political way out at the time because there were a lot of ‘ifs, ands and buts’, and because Cosby was still a hero.”
Cosby has a $3,000 science scholarship named after him and his wife Camille, at Temple. Last year, sexual assault allegations forced him to step down from Temple University’s board of trustees.
According to The Guardian, Pennsylvania has a 12-year statute of limitations on rape and sexual assaults charges, which means that Constand’s allegations have until January to stand as formal charges.