05 24 2016
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  • The judge concluded Officer Edward Nero played little role in the arrest and wasn't responsible for the failure by police to buckle Gray in  
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  • Bill Cosby faces a preliminary hearing Tuesday to determine if his criminal sex-assault case in suburban Philadelphia goes to trial.Prosecutors had declined to charge the comedian-actor over the 2005 complaint, but arrested him in December after his explosive deposition in the woman's lawsuit became public. In the testimony given in that deposition, Cosby is grilled about giving drugs and alcohol to women before sex; making secret payments to ex-lovers; and hosting Andrea Constand at his home. They knew each other through Temple University, where he was a trustee and she managed the women's basketball team. Bill Cosby's wife refused to answer dozens of questions during a combative deposition in a defamation lawsuit filed by seven women who say the comedian branded them liars after they accused him of sexually assaulting them, according to a transcript released Friday. Camille Cosby was subjected to intense questioning by the women's lawyer, who repeatedly pressed her to say whether she believes her husband "acted with a lack of integrity" during their 52-year marriage. The lawyer also asked if her husband used his position and power "to manipulate young women." Camille Cosby didn't answer those questions and many others after her lawyer cited marital privilege, the legal protection given to communications between spouses. She repeatedly said she had "no opinion" when pressed on whether she viewed her husband's behavior as dishonest and a violation of their marriage vows. About 50 women have publicly accused Bill Cosby of forcing unwanted sexual contact on them decades ago. Cosby has denied the allegations. He faces a criminal case in Pennsylvania, where prosecutors have charged him with sexually violating a former Temple University employee, Andrea Constand. He has pleaded not guilty. Camille Cosby answered questions in the deposition Feb. 22 and again April 19 after her lawyers argued unsuccessfully to stop it. A judge ruled she would have to give a deposition but said she could refuse to answer questions about private communications between her and her husband. Camille Cosby's lawyer, Monique Pressley, repeatedly cited that privilege and advised her not to answer many questions asked by the women's lawyer, Joseph Cammarata. The exchanges between Cammarata and Cosby became testy at times, and she admonished him: "Don't lecture me. Just keep going with the questions." Using a transcript of a deposition Bill Cosby gave in a civil lawsuit filed by Constand in 2005 and a transcript of an interview she gave to Oprah Winfrey in 2000, Cammarata asked Camille Cosby about extramarital affairs her husband had. "Were you aware of your husband setting up trusts for the benefit of women that he had a sexual relationship with?" Cammarata asked. She didn't answer after her lawyer cited marital privilege. Cammarata asked her about Shawn Thompson, a woman who said Bill Cosby fathered her daughter, Autumn Jackson, in the 1970s. Jackson was convicted in 1997 of attempting to extort money from Bill Cosby to prevent her from telling a tabloid she's his daughter. He acknowledged he had an affair with her mother and had given her money. "Was it a big deal when this came up in the 1970s that your husband had — big deal to you that your husband had an extramarital affair and potentially had a daughter from that extramarital affair?" Cammarata asked. "It was a big deal then, yes," Camille Cosby replied. She said she had "no opinion" on whether her husband's admission he obtained quaaludes to give to women with whom he wanted to have sex violated their marriage vows. Her lawyer objected and instructed her not to answer when Cammarata asked her if she ever suspected she had been given any type of drug to alter her state of consciousness when she had sex with her husband. A spokesman for the Cosbys declined to comment on her deposition. The Cosbys have a home in Shelburne Falls, an hour's drive from Springfield, where the lawsuit, seeking unspecified damages, was filed. An attorney handling a separate lawsuit against Bill Cosby revealed Friday that Playboy magazine founder Hugh Hefner provided sworn testimony Wednesday. In the sexual battery lawsuit filed in Los Angeles, Judy Huth says Cosby forced her to perform a sex act on him at the Playboy Mansion around 1974, when she was 15. Bill Cosby's former lawyers have accused Huth of attempting to extort him before filing the case and have tried unsuccessfully to have it dismissed. Huth's attorney, Gloria Allred, said Hefner's testimony will remain under seal for now. Hefner also was named as a defendant in a case filed Monday by former model Chloe Goins, who accuses Bill Cosby of drugging and sexually abusing her at the Playboy Mansion in 2008.   The Associated Press generally doesn't identify people who say they're victims of sexual abuse, but the women accusing Cosby have come forward to tell their stories.___AP Entertainment Writer Anthony McCartney contributed to this report from Los Angeles.
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  • Some hope killing will bring peace in Afghanistan     
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NEW YORK (AP) -- NBC worked feverishly to spread the word about Bob Costas' exclusive interview with former assistant Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky, who is accused of sexually assaulting boys, even as the two men were still on the phone together.

Their talk, broadcast Monday on the "Rock Center" newsmagazine, was part of a remarkable evening of news interviews on broadcast TV. It competed directly with Diane Sawyer's interview with U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords on ABC, which was ABC's most-watched news show since the summer.

The riveting interview with Sandusky, who is accused of sexually abusing eight boys over a 15-year period, was a surprise even to Costas. The veteran NBC Sports anchor was in a Manhattan studio for an interview with Sandusky's lawyer, Joseph Amendola, when the lawyer said, "What if I can get Sandusky on the phone?" Costas said Tuesday on MSNBC's "Morning Joe."

"I'm thinking, `I wonder from your standpoint whether that's the smartest thing to do,' but at the same time, sure if you want to do it. Let's get him on the phone," said Costas, who declined an interview request with The Associated Press through a spokeswoman.

About 10 or 15 minutes later, the interview began.

NBC immediately faced a challenge in how to publicize an interview with three hours' notice, particularly given that few people watch NBC's prime-time lineup. The interview was taped starting about 6:30 p.m. EST, and while it was still happening, a producer called to a nearby studio where Brian Williams was anchoring "Nightly News" to make sure Williams promoted it before he got off the air, said Rome Hartman, "Rock Center" executive producer.

"Rock Center" staffers also began tweeting quotes from the interview almost as soon as they left Sandusky's mouth, and the show's blog was updated. A video clip of the interview was posted online by about 7:30 p.m., with all TV networks given permission to use it.

Ultimately, "Rock Center" was seen by 3.87 million viewers, Nielsen said, well behind the 13.4 million people who watched the well-promoted interview with Giffords. That still beat the 3.46 million people who watched "Rock Center" the previous Monday, and clips of the interview were widely disseminated and discussed on Tuesday.

With countless journalists looking to speak to Sandusky, it's not clear why Costas was chosen. Perhaps his work in sports made him a more familiar and comfortable choice for a man who was Joe Paterno's top defensive assistant for many years at Penn State.

As television, the interview was minimalist: Phone interviews are rarely seen on TV because of the lack of video. NBC ran some still pictures of Sandusky, but otherwise the camera focused largely on Costas' face.

Costas was blunt, often uncomfortably so.

"What about Mike McQueary, the grad assistant who in 2002 walked into the shower where he says in specific detail that you were forcibly raping a boy who appeared to be 10 or 11 years old?" Costas asked. "That his hands were up against the shower wall and he heard rhythmic slap, slap, slapping sounds and he described it as rape?"

Sandusky answered that it was false.

Costas also asked specifically about touching boys' genitals and performing oral sex.

"There's no way to sanitize it," Hartman said. "If you do, you do a disservice to the viewers."

Perhaps the most arresting moment came when Costas asked Sandusky if he was sexually attracted to underage boys. Sandusky at first repeated the question, then said: "I enjoy young people. I love to be around them," before denying sexual attraction.

"I'll let the viewer infer what they want from that, but it was somewhat odd," Costas said on "Morning Joe."

Dona Hayes, chairwoman of Syracuse University's broadcast and digital journalism program, said she thought Costas did an outstanding job with the interview.

"He was respectful of the ongoing legal process, but at the same time he asked the pointed questions that echoed what many fair-minded people, in Costas' words, were thinking and asking," Hayes said.

Costas didn't sensationalize, attack or dismiss Sandusky, wrote Jeff Labrecque of Entertainment Weekly on Tuesday. "He stuck to the facts, and let Sandusky's words - and silences - do his work for him," he said.

It could be a defining moment for the Williams-hosted "Rock Center," in only its third episode and struggling in the ratings.

"This helped put us on the map," Hartman said. "It's not as if we were flying under the radar, but you need to give people a reason to watch if you're a new program."

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