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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Sounders fans

The Pac-12 Conference is moving its league championship game to the San Francisco 49ers' new stadium in Santa Clara for the next three years.

The NFL already has awarded the site the 50th Super Bowl to be played in February 2016. The stadium will open with a Major League Soccer game on Aug. 2 between San Jose and Seattle.

Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott, 49ers owner Jed York and team President Paraag Marathe announced the plans Thursday outside Levi's Stadium. The first three conference championships had been held at the home of the division champion with the best conference record — Oregon in 2011, Stanford in 2012 and Arizona State last year.

The $1.2 billion stadium, which is located about 45 miles south of San Francisco, is opening this fall. Scott cited the 68,500-seat venue's central location in the conference, the luxurious amenities and the corporate dollars in Silicon Valley as reasons to take the championship game to the neutral site.

As part of the conference's previously outlined television agreement with FOX and ESPN, the game will alternate being played on Friday night and Saturday. FOX will broadcast the game this season on Dec. 5, ESPN will show it on a Saturday next year and FOX will televise the game on a Friday night again in 2016.

The winner will be in line for a Rose Bowl berth or a spot in the new four-team College Football Playoff.

"The importance of this game continues to increase. And with this new agreement, we're going to be playing on one of the most exciting stages in all of football," Scott told reporters in Santa Clara.

The conference, which expanded with the addition of Colorado and Utah three years ago, is following a model similar to that of other major leagues that hold championship games. The SEC, Big Ten and ACC stage their title games at neutral sites. The Big 12 no longer has a championship game.

Attendance has been good at two of the three Pac-12 title games, with Stanford being the exception — partly due to rain and a 5 p.m. Friday kickoff that gridlocked traffic in the Bay Area. Marathe said he is not concerned about traffic for the Friday night games, though the Santa Clara site has not been tested with a big crowd yet.

In previous years, Scott had noted the challenges in staging the championship game at a host school when the site — not to mention the teams — often isn't known until a week before the game.

He also has acknowledged concern from school presidents about the travel demands that fans would face if teams in the far-flung conference — which stretches from Washington to Arizona — would have to travel to Santa Clara, which is about 15 miles from the Stanford campus and just across the bay from Berkeley.

But having a neutral location also has its benefits, Scott said, notably giving the conference time to plan logistics and sell tickets locally. Scott also has talked about the "wow" factor of the Santa Clara site, comparing the stadium's opening to the high level of attention the opulent Dallas Cowboys stadium received.

For the 49ers and the city, it's a major victory as they have been trying to fill dates at the new stadium.

The NFL already has awarded the site the 50th Super Bowl to be played in February 2016. The stadium will open with a Major League Soccer game on Aug. 2 between San Jose and Seattle.

It also will serve as the new home for the upgraded Fight Hunger Bowl, which had been played at AT&T Park in San Francisco, home of Major League Baseball's Giants. And Cal will host Oregon in a regular-season game at the stadium Oct. 24.

York said about 80 percent of the 49ers' ticket base has some Pac-12 connection, and he expects the conference championship game to be a sellout.

"When we were selling suites, when we were selling seats," York said, "this was hands down the No. 1 event people were asking about."

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