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Lawyer: Bill Cosby accuser met with police as case reopened

October 27, 2015 GMT

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Police reviewing a 2005 sexual-abuse complaint against Bill Cosby have re-interviewed his accuser, but an election next week could determine if he’s charged.

Former Temple University employee Andrea Constand, who settled a sex-abuse lawsuit against Cosby, met two months ago with detectives from suburban Philadelphia, her lawyer said.

Lawyer Dolores Troiani confirmed the police interview late Monday, the day Constand filed a defamation lawsuit against the prosecutor who declined to arrest Cosby when she first came forward.

The lawsuit accuses former Montgomery County prosecutor Bruce L. Castor Jr. of defaming Constand with remarks made this year as he seeks to return to the job.

Castor has said Constand gave to police in January 2005 a different story than the felony assault she described in her lawsuit that year.

“If the allegations in the civil complaint were contained with that detail in her statement to the police, we might have been able to make a case out of it,” he said last month, defending his decision not to prosecute Cosby.

Troiani said Monday it was “outrageous that a victim of a crime could be treated this same way — twice — by the same man.”

The election next week pits Castor against a man involved in the newly reopened investigation, Kevin Steele, a top deputy in the district attorney’s office.

Constand has accused Cosby of drugging and sexually assaulting her at his home in Montgomery County in January 2004. She met Cosby through her women’s basketball team job at Temple, where Cosby, who has denied widespread abuse claims from several women, was a trustee.

Authorities have until January 2016 to file charges under the 12-year statute of limitations for felony sexual assault in Pennsylvania.

The current prosecutor, Risa Vetri Ferman, is stepping down to run for judge. She declined to discuss the investigation Monday. However, responding to questions about the Cosby case, she recently noted the “tremendous courage” it takes for sexual-assault victims to come forward.

Constand, in the defamation lawsuit against Castor, said she had become “collateral damage for his political ambitions.”

Castor did not immediately return a call seeking comment Monday. The Legal Intelligencer first reported on the lawsuit, which seeks at least $150,000 in damages and came eight days before the election.

Castor, a Republican, and Steele, a Democrat, have tried to spin the Cosby case to their advantage in campaign ads. Troiani said the case shouldn’t be used as “a political football.”

Agents for Cosby, who starred as Dr. Cliff Huxtable on “The Cosby Show” from 1984 to 1992 and has been married for decades, have contacted defense lawyers this year to represent him in the reopened investigation.

Castor, in announcing he would not charge Cosby in 2005, had said that both parties could be portrayed in “a less than flattering light.”

Dozens of women have since come forward to accuse Cosby, 78, of drugging and molesting them. And Cosby’s deposition in the Constand case, released to the public this year, shows he acknowledged having sexual contact with Constand. He also said he had gotten quaaludes from his doctor to give to young women before sex years earlier.

However, he said his sexual relations with various women were consensual and he never gave women drugs without their knowledge.

Constand, then 31, left her job soon after the encounter at Cosby’s gated home. She is now a massage therapist in Toronto.