Defamation Suit By Seven Women Against Disgraced Bill Cosby In Springfield, Mas. On Hold Until Criminal Trial Is Over

A lawyer representing seven of the more than 80 women who have come forward alleging Bill Cosby sexually abused them said Wednesday the civil case Cosby faces in federal court here can’t move forward until the criminal case against him are over.

And, in the event he is convicted, the civil suit will not proceed until any appeals are resolved.


Plaintiff’s attorney Joseph Cammarata told U.S. District Judge Mark G. Mastroianni during a telephone conference Wednesday morning in the federal courthouse on State Street his legal team can’t prepare a case against Cosby without deposing the comic under oath.


But that can’t happen while Cosby faces criminal sexual assault charges in Pennsylvania — and his retrial on the criminal charges is not scheduled to begin until April 2, 2018.


The women filed the civil suit in Springfield in 2014. Plaintiffs Tamara Green, Therese Serignese, Linda Traitz, Louisa Moritz, Barbara Bowman, Joan Tarshis and  Angela Leslie all seek damages from Cosby. He faces other similar suits both here an in California.



Mastroianni said he’s wrestling with two goals: a responsibility to keep the civil lawsuit moving, and protecting Cosby’s rights against self incrimination guaranteed in the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.


Mastroianni, a former high-profile criminal defense attorney in this region who also served as Hampden District Attorney, said he doesn’t foresee any progress in the civil case for at least six or seven months.

Written By: Tommy Lightfoot Garrett
Photographs are Courtesy:  AP
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