Should Bill Cosby’s Criminal Pennsylvania Case Files Be Permissible in Federal Defamation Lawsuit?

As comedian Bill Cosby prepares to fight criminal sex assault charges made by a former Temple University employee in court next week, Cosby's lawyers went to federal court to try to keep Andrea Constand's decade-old case file out of the hands of other Cosby accusers.

NBC10 Investigator’s Harry Hairston spoke with Judge Anita B. Brody in her chambers just prior to Tuesday’s status hearing. Brody declined NBC10’s request to sit in on the hearing held in her chambers but did supply a recording of the proceedings.

The fight is over Constand's legal files that could contain interviews with other women who accused Cosby of sexual assault. Currently Cosby only faces criminal charges based on Constand’s allegations in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania that stem from a 2004 incident.

NBC Owned Television Stations generally do not identify victims of alleged sexual assaults unless they agree to have their names published, as Constand has done.

Washington, D.C.-based attorney Joe Cammarata, who represents seven Cosby accusers in the Massachusetts defamation case, subpoenaed Constand's attorney Delores Troiani for the file in December.

"What we are after is the documents that were gathered by Ms. Troiani's discovery," said Cammarata.

Cosby's attorney filed a motion earlier this month to quash the subpoena.

In court Tuesday, Brody questioned the relevance between Constand's sexual assault case file to the defamation civil law suit.

"Mr. Cammarata what do you expect to find in the Troiani case file?"

"I expect to find highly relevant information about Mr. Cosby and his dealings with several of the plaintiffs in the Massachusetts litigation," said Cammarata.

Cammarata says he believes the case files have information involving at least four of Cosby's accusers.

Cosby's legal team argues Constand's case file is not relevant to the defamation claims and suggest Cammarata depose the other accusers for their testimony.

Troiani told Hairston Wednesday she does not object to the subpoena and will do whatever the court orders. Judge Brody could make her ruling late next month after hearing more arguments by both sides.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
Contact Us