Could the Cos soon be in the clear?

A Pennsylvania prosecutor isn't saying for sure, but he let a big hint drop Wednesday, telling reporters that the yearlong delay between the time Bill Cosby is accused of fondling a woman and her decision to tell authorities may damage her case.

"I think that factors such as failure to disclose in a timely manner and contacts with the alleged perpetrator after the event are factors that weigh toward Mr. Cosby," Bruce L. Castor Jr., the Montgomery County district attorney, said at a press conference.

"I won't make any decision concerning anyone's credibility until all the statements are taken and all the evidence is in."

Cosby and his accuser have been interviewed by investigators, Castor says, and his office will decide within two weeks whether to bring charges.

"I'm not going to get into what he told us," Castor said. "All I will say is that he has been cooperative, as has the [accuser]."

The 31-year-old woman, an ex-basketball player who met Cosby through her former job at Temple University--the entertainer's alma mater--claims that she and Cosby had been friends. Following dinner with others at a restaurant in January 2004, she says Cosby invited her back to his suburban Philadelphia home. While there, she complained of stress and tension and, she says, Cosby gave her some pills that made her dizzy. She alleges that he then touched her breasts and placed her hand on his genitals.

The woman, who asked that her identity be kept secret, eventually quit her job at Temple and returned to her native Canada to attend massage school. She finally came forward to Canadian authorities on Jan. 13. The case was then transferred back to Pennsylvania.

Such allegations, Castor says, would likely result in a misdemeanor or low-level sexual-harassment count, if there was enough evidence to indicate criminal intent.

"We charge people for criminal conduct. We don't charge people with making a mistake or doing something foolish," Castor said.

Cosby, 67, has remained mum on the matter. After the accusations surfaced last week, the entertainer postponed several speaking engagements, but now his publicist says Cosby will stick to all upcoming appearances.

His attorney, Walter M. Phillips Jr., has called the allegations "bizarre" and questioned why the woman waited a year to go public.

In recent days, both the woman and her parents have spoken out about the long delay. "I did what I thought was right," the accuser told the Philadelphia Inquirer Wednesday. "Sometimes it takes a long time to build up the courage, especially if the person is universal and when a person is very famous," the woman's father told a television station last week.

"We're not in it for the money," the father told the Toronto Sun over the weekend. "Justice has to be served."

The father also admitted to the Sun that his daughter introduced him and his wife to Cosby eight months after the alleged incident took place.

Cosby has been married to wife Camille for 41 years. In 1997, he did cop to CBS' Dan Rather to once having an affair in the 1970s but said had been faithful to Camille since then.

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