Cosby Arrest Begs Questions on Connecticut Rape / Sex Assault Arrests & Civil Lawsuits

Just when the best Connecticut criminal lawyers and attorneys thought they had seen it all in 2015…Bill Cosby gets arrested for an alleged 2004 sex assault.  Top Stamford and Greenwich Connecticut sex assault criminal lawyers who frequently defend rape cases know that the statute of limitations for rape in Connecticut is much longer than most crimes, but the longer a case takes to get to court, the more likely evidence disappears, memories fade, and a suspect can successfully fight a Stamford, Westport, Wilton or Greenwich Connecticut arrest for sex assault or rape. But perhaps what’s most intriguing about the Cosby case is how effective the parade of Cosby accusers and past “victims” have used the media to put public pressure on prosecutors to bring charges. Now, on the very last day possible in this particular Pennsylvania Cosby case, it looks like their efforts have finally succeeded.

The arrest has also caused some of the top personal injury lawyers in Connecticut who sue for sex assaults and rapes to follow this criminal case—along with the many Cosby civil lawsuits—even more closely. How do the cases impact each other?  Is there any way that Cosby can avoid jail and bankruptcy?  A few thoughts on these questions below…

Will the Civil Lawsuits for Personal Injury, Sex Assault & Rape Impact Cosby’s Criminal Trial?

As the best personal injury lawyers in Stamford, Greenwich, New Haven who sue for rape and sex assault in Connecticut know all too well, someone can be arrested in Connecticut for sex assault / rape, and sued civilly for money damages in Connecticut at the same time. The former takes place in a criminal courtroom where the punishment is jail. The latter takes place in the Connecticut civil courthouse where a victim of sex assault or rape in Connecticut can win a judge or jury award of millions of dollars. (Click here for more on how victims of sex assault and rape in Connecticut can sue in civil court and freeze the assets, bank accounts and real estate holdings of their perpetrators). In the Bill Cosby case, a threshold question will be exactly if and how all of the Cosby accusers from his past will leverage this criminal case against him in trying to prove civil liability. Cosby will be forced to either testify in his own defense in these civil cases, or invoke his Fifth Amendment rights which will automatically require the court to draw a negative inference against him if he were to do so. On the flipside, and as any of the top Stamford, Greenwich or Danbury Connecticut sex assault and rape criminal lawyers attorneys would acknowledge, Pennsylvania prosecutors will no doubt try to present to the jury all of Cosby’s accusers from his past with their allegations of sex assault that were too old to be criminally prosecuted, but that could very well be admissible under evidence laws that permit “prior uncharged misconduct” to be admissible at trial. If the Cosby judge were to allow these witnesses to testify at trial, it could become an insurmountable mountain of evidence against Cosby, so expect Cosby’s lawyers to fight tooth and nail to try and keep this evidence out on grounds of remoteness, speculation, and unconstitutional prejudice.

Can Cosby Even Get a Fair Trial with all this Publicity?

Probably. As the veteran and very best Connecticut criminal lawyers have seen over their careers, high profile criminal trials of celebrities often weigh in favor of the celebrity. You don’t have to look further than the O.J. Simpson murder trial, Michael Jackson sex assault trial, or Kobe Bryant rape case to see that when they are under such public scrutiny and spotlights, judges, prosecutors and juries often try even harder to get every single decision right. They try to be as fair as possible, as they know their every move and word may be repeated in a tell-all book by the judge, prosecutor or even the jury foreperson down the road. The criminal justice process is not an exact science, and while a lot is left to the discretion of judges, prosecutors, and juries, there’s a general consensus among the top Connecticut criminal law firms who defend rapes and sex assaults that sometimes the fairest way to resolve a case is to put the ultimate decision of guilt or innocence in the hands of a jury (rather than make a plea bargain deal that rests heavily in the discretion of a judge or prosecutor). So whichever way the Cosby case goes, it’s likely that decisions about this case will be made carefully and with considerable diligence, research and thought.

We will continue to keep our readers posted with updates on the Cosby case as they develop…

The Mark Sherman Law Firm has been providing this blog for nearly 3 years, providing readers with commentary and opinion on local and national criminal law legal issues affecting residents in Stamford, New Canaan, Greenwich, Danbury and all over Connecticut. Follow this link to learn how the team of criminal attorneys at the Mark Sherman Law Firm can assist you with your Connecticut criminal arrest for sex assault, rape, or can assist you with a police investigation for these issues today. We are available 24/7 at (203) 358-4700.