Cosby's Lawyers Angered Over Deposition Release. Were Court Processes Violated?

By Christopher Coble, Esq. on July 21, 2015 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Bill Cosby's rape drama continues.

After nearly 40 women have accused him of raping them since as far back as 1965, The New York Times found and published a decade-old deposition where Cosby seemingly admitted to drugging women to have sex with him.

Now, Cosby's lawyers want to know how the deposition, which was supposed to be sealed, got leaked.

Accusations and Confessions

Since 2004, various claims of sexual assault and date rape have been leveled against Bill Cosby. Many of the cases happened more than six years ago, however, so California's statute of limitations on sexual assaults has run. In other words, the alleged crimes happened too long ago for Cosby to be charged.

Despite the legal technicalities that have held up criminal proceedings, victims of the alleged attacks are adamant about seeking justice. In 2005, Andrea Constand sued Bill Cosby for drugging and sexually assaulting her.

It was at a deposition for that case that Cosby testified, under oath, that he got Quaaludes to drug young women to have sex with him. The case was settled in 2006 for an undisclosed amount, and the case and documents involved were sealed by court order.

Unsealing Records

December last year, the Associated Press filed a motion to intervene to unseal documents related to the Constand lawsuit. AP argued that local court rules would allow a judge to lift the seal on the case after two years.

However, Cosby's lawyers argued that unsealing the documents would embarrass Cosby and prejudice the jury pool against him. The actor's lawyers assert that Cosby is a private figure so the public should not have access to "what Cosby was forced to say as he answered questions under oath."

Before the judge ruled on whether to unseal all documents in the case, The New York Times got its hands on the deposition in the case.

Cosby's lawyers are now threatening to pursue legal action once they find out how The New York Times got hold of the deposition, which they claim should have been sealed. However, The Times claims that the deposition itself was never sealed and the transcript was already publicly available through a court reporting service.

So, is The Times right, or is it on shaky legal grounds for reporting on supposedly sealed testimony? Stay tuned to find out.

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