By NICOLE WEISENSEE EGAN firstname.lastname@example.org
INVESTIGATORS probing the sexual misconduct allegations made against
comedian Bill Cosby have concluded there was sexual contact between the
entertainer and the woman, but they are trying to determine whether it
was consensual, ABC News reported last night, citing a source close to
Cosby's version of what happened between him and the woman and his
accuser's story are similar in many ways, ABC News reported the source
said. The dispute is whether the contact between Cosby and the woman
David Brokaw, Cosby's publicist, issued a statement for Cosby's
attorney, Walter Phillips Jr., that all but dismissed the report.
"As the district attorney has stated, Mr. Cosby has been fully
cooperative with authorities," Phillips said. "All communication
between Mr. Cosby and the authorities are confidential, and we are not
going to comment on them. I repeat that the allegations are without merit. "
Cosby was interviewed by Montgomery County authorities Wednesday morning.
Montgomery County District Attorney Bruce L. Castor Jr. could not be
reached for comment last night. The alleged victim has accused Cosby of
drugging and groping her at his Elkins Park mansion last January.
Meanwhile, Philadelphia Police Commissioner Sylvester Johnson has
launched an investigation into how a confidential police report about
the Cosby case got leaked to the Web site of a nationally syndicated
television show yesterday.
"I am concerned when confidential information of this nature is put on
a Web site," Johnson said last night. "I believe that we must be fair
to not only the victim, but also to the accused. Therefore . . . the
matter will be looked into. "
Late yesterday afternoon, "Celebrity Justice," a show that focuses on
celebrities and their criminal travails, sent out an e-mail news
release titled, "CJ obtains confidential document in Cosby Case. " The
e-mail provided a link to "view the document" on the show's Web site.
The site had a photographed copy of a "white paper," or internal police
report, put out by the Philadelphia Police Department's Special Victims
Unit, which handles sexual-assault cases. The word "Confidential" was
handwritten across the top of it.
Attorneys for Cosby and the alleged victim had no comment on the
document's appearance on the Web site. However, Dolores Troiani, the
alleged victim's lawyer, said she was glad that Johnson was investigating.
"Obviously, the privacy of victims is paramount in these types of
investigations, and I hope he gets to the bottom of it," she said.
The document included the name of the alleged victim, her account of
what happened, as well as Cosby's exact street address in Elkins Park.
A few minutes after it appeared, the alleged victim's name was blacked
out. News organizations routinely do not reveal the names of alleged
sexual assault victims, although several publications have already
published the name of the Cosby accuser. The Daily News has not
revealed her identity.
Harvey Levin, executive producer of "Celebrity Justice," said it was an
accident that the alleged victim's name was not blacked out.
"We had a communication issue with the Web site people, but we took it
off in about 10 minutes," Levin said. "The name has kind of gotten out
there, but we decided not to do it. "
Levin would not say how the show obtained the document but said the
show did not pay for it. He said he did not see a problem with
revealing Cosby's exact address.
"There are crews out there camped at his house and star house tours in
lots of big cities," he said.
The alleged victim first reported the alleged sexual assault to
Canadian police, who erroneously referred it to Philadelphia police.
They then referred it to Cheltenham Township police, who cover the area
where Cosby lives and where she alleges she was groped. Detectives from
the Montgomery County District Attorney's Office and Cheltenham
Township are spearheading the probe. A decision on whether to prosecute
is expected in about two weeks.
"Celebrity Justice" airs locally at 3 p.m. on KYW-TV (Channel 3). *