05 25 2016
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  • On Tuesday, a judge ordered the 78-year-old Cosby to stand trial on sexual assault charges 
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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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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A high-ranking House Democrat is calling on Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. to reveal the reasons behind his mysterious leave of absence from Congress.

"I think Congressman Jackson and his office and his family would be well-advised to advise his constituents of his condition," Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Maryland, said in response to a question from CNN Wednesday.

"He's obviously facing a health problem," Hoyer added. "People get sick. And when people get sick, they miss work. Everybody in America understands that but I think the family would be well-advised to give his constituents as much information as is appropriate."

It was a very direct message from a House Democratic leader who has been reluctant, up until now, to publicly press Jackson, D-Illinois, for more detail.

The pressure began mounting Tuesday after comments to reporters in Chicago by fellow Illinois Democrat Rep. Dick Durbin.

"As a public official... there reaches a point when you have a responsibility to tell people what you're facing and how things are going. Senator Kirk has done that, and I think Congressman Jackson will face that too," Durbin said.

Earlier this year, Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Illinois, suffered a stroke. He is still recovering and his office continues to give updates on his progress.

Jackson hasn't been on Capitol Hill for votes or hearings since late May, and in early June his office announced he was taking a leave of absence because he was suffering from a "medical condition."

But more questions arose late last week, when Jackson communications director Frank Watkins put out another cryptic update.

"Congressman Jackson's medical condition is more serious than we thought and initially believed," he said.

"We have been made aware that he has grappled with certain physical and emotional ailments privately for a long period of time."

Initially, Jackson's office said the nine-term congressman was suffering from "exhaustion," but has since declined to provide any further information regarding his health.

Another of Jackson's Illinois colleagues, Rep. Jan Schakowsky, told CNN Wednesday she didn't have any details on Jackson's situation or medical condition and said she didn't want to "second guess" how the congressman's family and his office has handled the situation over the last few weeks.

But she echoed Hoyer's call for additional information.

"Clearly at some point he's going to have to give some info about when he's coming back," Schakowsky said.

Several senior House Democratic aides contacted by CNN insist Jackson isn't telling Hill colleagues anything. Privately, they were critical about the information blackout from Jackson's office, noting it only raises more questions about his absence.

 

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