In an interview, prominent Philadelphia criminal defense attorney A. Charles Peruto, Jr. gave his input on the sexual assault case against comedian Bill Cosby.
Peruto mentioned the good, the bad and the ugly, giving his input on both the prosecution and the defense.
Cosby faces a second trial after jurors were unable to come to a unanimous decision on the sixth day of deliberations. Judge Steven O’Neill declared that the jury of seven men and five women were hopelessly deadlocked.
“Do not feel like you’ve let the justice system down,” O’Neill told the jurors, who labored for more than 53 hours and asked 12 questions of the court during deliberations.
Peruto has predicted high-profile cases for over a decade, and his predictions have proven to be correct in a number of those cases. Peruto, who has defended deranged murderers, mafioso-types, and certain high-profile marijuana enthusiasts is no stranger to high-profile clients of his own; with a track record of complete acquittals in over 350 jury trials and 3,000 non-jury trials.
Peruto was also recently retained to represent Judge Genece Brinkley, who sentenced rapper Meek Mills to prison for repeatedly violating his probation, threatening to sue several celebrities and individuals surrounding the allegations that Judge Brinkley tried forcing Meek Mill to comply with bizarre orders.
What did Chuck have to say about Commonwealth v. Cosby?
Peruto pointed out that the decision to reopen the case against Cosby could be a mixture of both politics and the fact that today’s climate surrounding sexual assault allegations has drastically changed. “When you’re running against a candidate and you can find a talking point where theres a difference in your approach, you want to take full advantage of that. I’m not an expert on the politics of that.” Peruto continued, “I can only state that at the time, Bruce Castor didn’t think there was enough evidence. All of these other women came out of the woodwork, and the climate of these types of accusations were quite different.”
“First of all, Kevin Steele is enjoying the benefit of the ‘MeeToo’ movement. Second of all, once Cosby gave his very, very, poor deposition and these other women came out of the woodwork, it really strengthened the Commonweatlh’s case. The deposition really hurt the defendant, Cosby. Kevin Steele decided to take full advantage of that.”
Why try the case twice after how much money the first trial cost taxpayers?
When asked about Steele immediately filing for a retrial, Peruto said a retrial is nothing out of the ordinary. “Well, the irony of this case is that there are many complaints of Judge O’Neill but as a defense attorney that is really out of our viewpoint.
When you make a decision that you’re going to pursue a criminal case, you can’t make it half assed. You’re either all in, or you’re not. When you say you’re in, that means you can get a hung jury in any criminal case. Are you just going to try it to a hung jury and if its not unanimous then drop it? Thats not the way these things are done. No case is not retried a second time after one mistrial. After two mistrials maybe, but not after one. Once you decide you’re invested in the case, you have to keep going. Therefore, I don’t find fault at the second prosecution. I may find fault at the first prosecution with the problems that this case has.”
The Cosby defense team recently filed several motions, one being a Motion to Dismiss for Prosecutorial Misconduct, stating that the prosecution destroyed exculpatory evidence and permitted Andrea Constand to perjury.
Would those recent allegations warrant an investigation?
“It depends on the evidence that was destroyed. If it was something that would really bode against the credibility against the complainant, Andrea Constand, then yes, there would be an investigation and as a matter of fact there would be a motion to bar re-prosecution filed by the defense claiming double jeopardy, because there is a likelihood that this would have affected the outcome of the case. When something is that powerful, when it’s an allegation that serious, I take a stand back and I say ‘listen I wanna see what it is’ and I want to see what credibility it has.”
What shocked Peruto most about the retrial?
The decision not to bring a jury from Allegheny County, something that was fought for during the first trial.
“The one place that this defendant really shocked me was agreeing that a jury could come from Montgomery County. If I had a toupee, it would have blown off.
Honestly, an Allegheny County, for Bill Cosby, is the second best county in Pennsylvania to draw from. Consenting to a Montgomery County jury, in this case, with the publicity it’s received, I find it hard to believe that twelve people will decide this case based on the facts they hear in the court room.”
What does Peruto predict will happen at the conclusion of the retrial?
“I think what I thought in the first place and that is not guilty or a hung jury. I don’t think you’re ever going to get 12 people to unanimously say that he’s guilty based on the evidence heard in the courtroom.
If a perspective juror is going to decide the case in extraneous manners read in the press then certainly he or she could vote guilty — but not on just Andrea Constand’s claim that she was sexually assaulted because the biggest problems are ones thats have been written about ad nauseam. She waited a year to make the allegations, etc..”
Find out more about A. Charles Peruto, Jr. here.