JUDGE

Upcoming Cosby Hearing to Focus Only on Nonprosecution Claim

The former D.A. says he promised Cosby's now-deceased lawyer that Cosby's testimony in a civil lawsuit wouldn't be used against him.

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The judge weighing pretrial issues in Bill Cosby's criminal case will limit a Feb. 2 hearing to the fight over whether the comedian had a "nonprosecution" agreement with a district attorney.

Cosby's lawyers want the criminal sex-assault case dismissed on several grounds. They say Cosby was promised he would never be prosecuted; cannot defend a 12-year-old case; and was charged by an overzealous prosecutor.

District Attorney Kevin Steele wants those complaints dismissed so the judge can hear preliminary evidence that day.

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But Montgomery County Judge Steven O'Neill said Friday he will only hear arguments on the nonprosecution issue.

Former District Attorney Bruce Castor supports the defense theory. He says he promised Cosby's now-deceased lawyer that Cosby's testimony in a civil lawsuit wouldn't be used against the TV icon. But Steele says there's nothing in writing.

The "Cosby Show" star has consistently denied all allegations of sexual misconduct against him.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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