For Immediate Release February 17, 2005
Montgomery County District Attorney Bruce L. Castor, Jr. has announced that a joint investigation by his office and the Cheltenham Township Police Department into allegations against actor and comic Bill Cosby is concluded. Cosby maintains a residence in Cheltenham Township, Montgomery County.
A 31 year old female, a former employee of the Athletic Department of Temple University complained to detectives that Cosby touched her inappropriately during a visit to his home in January of 2004. The woman reported the allegation to police in her native Canada on January 13, 2005. Canadian authorities, in turn, referred the complaint to Philadelphia Police. Philadelphia forwarded the complaint to Cheltenham Police. The District Attorney's Office became involved at the request of Cheltenham Chief of Police John Norris.
Everyone involved in this matter cooperated with investigators including the complainant and Mr. Cosby. This level of cooperation has helped the investigation proceed smoothly and efficiently. The District Attorney commends all parties for their assistance.
The District Attorney has reviewed the statements of the parties involved, those of all witnesses who might have firsthand knowledge of the alleged incident including family, friends and co-workers of the complainant, and professional acquaintances and employees of Mr. Cosby. Detectives searched Mr. Cosby's Cheltenham home for potential evidence. Investigators further provided District Attorney Castor with phone records and other items that might have evidentiary value. Lastly, the District Attorney reviewed statements from other persons claiming that Mr. Cosby behaved inappropriately with them on prior occasions.
However, the detectives could find no instance in Mr. Cosby's past where anyone complained to law enforcement of conduct, which would constitute a criminal offense.
After reviewing the above and consulting with County and Cheltenham detectives, the District Attorney finds insufficient, credible, and admissible evidence exists upon which any charge against Mr. Cosby could be sustained beyond a reasonable doubt. In making this finding, the District Attorney has analyzed the facts in relation to the elements of any applicable offenses, including whether Mr. Cosby possessed the requisite criminal intent. In addition, District Attorney Castor applied the Rules of Evidence governing whether or not evidence is admissible. Evidence may be inadmissible if it is too remote in time to be considered legally relevant or if it was illegally obtained pursuant to Pennsylvania law. After this analysis, the District Attorney concludes that a conviction under the circumstances of this case would be unattainable. As such, District Attorney Castor declines to authorize the filing of criminal charges in connection with this matter.
Because a civil action with a much lower standard of proof is possible, the District Attorney renders no opinion concerning the credibility of any party involved so as not to contribute to the publicity, and taint prospective jurors. The District Attorney does not intend to expound publicly on the details of his decision for fear that his opinions and analysis might be given undue weight by jurors in any contemplated civil action. District Attorney Castor cautions all parties to this matter that he will reconsider this decision should the need arise. Much exists in this investigation that could be used (by others) to portray persons on both sides of the issue in a less than flattering light. The District Attorney encourages the parties to resolve their dispute from this point forward with a minimum of rhetoric.