Bill Cosby accuser files lawsuit against Montco DA candidate Bruce Castor

ARDMORE, Pa. (WPVI) -- With Election Day a week from Tuesday, Bill Cosby is becoming a central figure in the race to be the next Montgomery County district attorney.

One of Bill Cosby's accusers has filed a federal court lawsuit against former Montgomery County district attorney Bruce Castor, alleging defamation and invasion of privacy.

However, Castor responded by saying the lawsuit was "political chacanery" by his opponent, and that it was "laughably transparent."

Democrat Kevin Steele and Republican Bruce Castor have been airing competing television ads bashing each other.

So, how did Bill Cosby become a central issue in the heated race for district attorney of Montgomery County? Because Steele says Castor failed to prosecute Cosby for sexual assault a decade ago.

Steele says Castor took a dive on the case because of Cosby's celebrity and high-priced legal team.

He says, "I've worked my career, for the last twenty years, to do what's right and to stand up for victims, and not belittle victims, as my opponent is doing here."

Castor says he did not have enough evidence back in 2005 to win a conviction, and says Steele had plenty of time since then to bring charges against the now disgraced comic legend.

Castor says, "He has to try to do something to put himself in the same stages with me. Cosby is a big name and a big case, and that's what he's doing. The fact of the matter is it's complete nonsense."

Then on Monday, a woman who settled a sex abuse lawsuit against Bill Cosby filed a lawsuit against Castor, saying he has defamed her through recent attacks on her credibility.

Andrea Constand accuses Cosby of drugging and sexually assaulting her at his home near Philadelphia in January 2004. Cosby has denied it.

In the lawsuit filed Monday, Constand says she has become "collateral damage" for Castor's political ambitions.

Castor has defended his decision not to charge Cosby by saying Constand gave a less serious account to police than she described in her 2005 lawsuit.

In response to the lawsuit filed Monday, Castor released several statements.

The first two were sent exclusively to Action News, which read as follows:

    "Suffice to say, more political chicanery right before the election. I've heard of desperation negative campaigns before, but this surely take cake (sic). Laughably transparent. I doubt the Federal Court will be laughing as it is being used as a campaign advertisement."

    "I left office in 2008, Kevin has been in an ADA position for the last 8 years and done nothing, and that the suit is solely for the purpose of politics."

Later Castor released this formal statement:

    "In 7 days the people of Montgomery County will select their next District Attorney. While Bruce Castor remind voters about his impressive record as District Attorney and his vision for the future of that office, Kevin Steele and his campaign continue to sling mud.

    Instead of talking about the things that would improve the DA's office, make our community safer and your life more secure, Steele and his campaign are desperate to talk about an eleven year old case involving Bill Cosby.

    The lawsuit filed today, seven days before an election, is the cheapest of Steele's cheap campaign stunts. It is the act of a desperate candidate who is down in the polls and headed to defeat. It is totally without merit. Bruce Castor remains committed to a positive, issues-based campaign and that is exactly where our focus will be for the next week.

    It is fortunate we are seeing exactly the kind of District Attorney Kevin Steele would be before anyone makes the terrible mistake of actually voting for him."

For ages Montgomery County was a Republican stronghold. But there has been a steady demographic evolution, and the Democrats now have decided voter registration advantage.

Eight years ago registered Republicans outnumbered Democrats by some 30,000 in Montgomery County. But in the fall of 2015 Democrats have the registration lead by roughly 47,000.

Voter turnout on Election Day is projected to be 30% of registered voters in Montgomery County, so this race could go to the wire.


Information from The Associated Press was used in this post.
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