AP Photo/Matt Rourke
AP Photo/Matt Rourke
UPDATE: Bill Cosby's lawyers released the following statement in light of today's news:
"We are satisfied that the Los Angeles DA's Office fully and fairly evaluated all the facts and evidence, and came to the right conclusion in declining to file charges against Mr. Cosby.
"We are also pleased that, on the same day, the California Court of Appeal ruled in our favor in Dickinson v. Cosby, thus reversing the order of the lower court and preventing any effort by Dickinson to depose our client until such time as she has proven she has sufficient evidence under California law to move forward with her defamation claim."
Los Angeles prosecutors will not file sexual assault charges against Cosby following allegations from two women, stemming from incidents they say occurred in 1965 and 2008.
The county's district attorney's office announced the decision on Wednesday, a week after the 78-year-old actor was arraigned in a Pennsylvania court on separate sexual misconduct charges stemming from a 2004 incident involving an ex-Temple University employee. It is the only case that has led to criminal charges for Cosby, who has been accused by more than 50 women of sexual abuse, often involving drugs and alcohol, during incidents that allegedly took place over several decades. He has denied the allegations.
The district attorney's office said in a charge evaluation worksheet, obtained by E! News, that it had "evaluated allegations of sexual assault" made against Cosby but would not pursue charges. Any that could have been issued are barred by the statute of limitations or were not pursued due to lack of evidence. The Pennsylvania case, which remains ongoing, was filed just before the statute of limitations for criminal prosecution was due to expire.
"We are satisfied that the Los Angeles DA's office fully and fairly evaluated all the facts and evidence, and came to the right conclusion," Chris Tayback, a lawyer for Cosby, said in a statement posted by CNN.
One of the Los Angeles cases involved a woman who told police that in 1964, when she was 17, Cosby took her to a jazz club, bought her alcoholic drinks and then "took her to an unknown residence in the Hollywood Hills and forced her to have sexual intercourse with him." Prosecutors said they would not pursue the case because "filing the crime of forcible rape is barred by the statute of limitations.
The second alleged incident involved a woman who said that in the summer of 2008, when she was 18, she met Cosby at a Midsummer Night's Dream-themed party at the Playboy Mansion and that he gave her an alcoholic drink, which made her feel "dizzy and sick," and escorted her to a bedroom. She said she woke up naked and saw the actor at the foot of the bed, biting her toe. She said he left after he saw she was awake.
The woman's accusations against Cosby could have been classified as misdemeanor sexual battery and misdemeanor indecent exposure, which are both barred by the statute of limitations. Prosecutors also said other potential charges of "sexual battery by restraint," a felony, and "sexual assaults by intoxication of or an unconscious victim" and "assault with intent to commit a sex offense" were also contemplated.
"Consequently, after evaluating all potential charges, there is insufficient evidence to prove these crimes beyond a reasonable doubt," the office said.
While Cosby has denied sexually assaulting his accusers, he has admitted to cheating on wife Camille in the past and said in 2005 and 2006 depositions for a lawsuit filed by one of his accusers that years ago, he had also obtained prescriptions for Quaaludes, a powerful sedative and a party drug, so he could give the pills to women that he wanted to have sex with—with their knowledge and consent.
Camille, who has been married to Cosby for 51 years, was scheduled to give a deposition on Wednesday for a separate Massachusetts defamation case made against her husband by seven women who have accused him of sexual misconduct but a judge agreed to the actor's lawyers' request to delay it. Cosby has counter-sued the accusers for defamation.