Whatever the numerous legal hurdles facing Bill Cosby, criminal charges from the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office aren’t among them.
Cosby won’t face charges stemming from two of his accusers, the DA’s office announced Wednesday.
In the case of the first sexual assault allegation, the DA’s office cited the statute of limitations in its decision not to pursue charges. That accuser claimed that Cosby took her to a Hollywood jazz club in 1965 when she was 17 years old and bought her alcoholic beverages. The accuser had claimed that Cosby then took her to a private residence and forced her to have intercourse with him.
The second accuser claimed that she attended a party with a friend at the Playboy mansion in 2008 when she was 18 and was introduced to Cosby. She alleged that she began to feel dizzy and sick after drinking an alcoholic beverage that Cosby had given her. According to her accusations, Cosby then led her to an upstairs bedroom. When she awoke, the accuser claimed, her “clothes were off, her breasts felt moist, as if they were licked, and the suspect was at the foot of the bed biting her toe. He appeared to be masturbating,” according to a charge evaluation worksheet issued by the district attorney’s office on Wednesday.
In that case, the district attorney’s office said, the unnamed accuser initially claimed that the incident took place at a Midsummer Night’s Dream Party held at the mansion in August 2008. However, she later stated that she was unsure if the incident occurred at that event or another event held at the mansion that summer.
Investigators reviewed video footage from the Midsummer Night’s Dream Party, none of which showed Cosby or the accuser present. They also obtained evidence that Cosby was in New York at the time of the party.
A subsequent review of guest lists from events at the mansion in 2008 found that Cosby was only listed as a guest at one event that year, in February.
While some of the second accuser’s accusations — both were listed as Jane Does by the district attorney’s office — were barred by the statute of limitations, the DA determined that, other potential charges that could be filed, “there is insufficient evidence to prove these crimes beyond a reasonable doubt.”
Cosby has been accused of rape or sexual assault by dozens of women. His former attorney, Martin Singer, has denied the allegations in the past.
The former “Cosby Show” star has been slapped with multiple lawsuits in the wake of the scandal. He has also been charged with felony sexual assault stemming from accusations made by former Temple University employee Andrea Constand, who alleges that Cosby assaulted her in 2004.
Constand had previously sued Cosby over the alleged attack, but later settled with him.
In a statement, attorney Gloria Allred, who represents the first accuser, said that he client is “very disappointed” in the district attorney’s decision.
Allred added that she is working to eliminate the statute of limitations in California for cases involving rape and sexual assault.
Read Allred’s full statement below.
Today the LA County District Attorney declined to file charges against Bill Cosby as a result of allegations made against him by two Jane Does. I represent one of women who alleges that she was victimized in 1965 when she was 17 years old.
My client is very disappointed in the District Attorney’s decision which appears to have been based on California’s statute of limitations and which is the stated reason that the District Attorney did not file criminal charges. It is very difficult for a person who alleges that she is a victim to understand that there are arbitrary time periods set by law and that if allegations are not reported within that time period that it will be too late for a prosecutor to pursue them even if a prosecutor believes that there is sufficient evidence to prove that case beyond a reasonable doubt.
We are, however, working to change the law in California to eliminate the statute of limitations for criminal cases involving rape and sexual assault. I am working with California Senator Connie Leyva to change the law in this state.
Although if signed into law this proposed new legislation will not be retroactive and is not likely to cover allegations against Mr. Cosby, it will be of benefit to others in the future who allege that they are victims of rape. Passage of that bill will be a positive step forward for victims of sexual predators.
Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.