Comedian Bill Cosby won the right to delay providing evidence in a lawsuit in Massachusetts, in which he is accused of defaming women with public assertions that they fabricated sexual misconduct allegations against him.
In his ruling, the federal judge hearing the case cited a risk Cosby might be forced to disclose facts prosecutors would use in a separate criminal case against him in Pennsylvania.
Cosby, who personified the model American family man in his long-running hit television series The Cosby Show, was charged last year in Pennsylvania with sexually assaulting former basketball coach Andrea Constand in 2004.
He also has been sued in civil courts in the United States by at least nine women, including seven in the case in Massachusetts.
In that civil case, US District Judge Mark Mastroianni concluded that Cosby has a right to delay providing evidence.
The decision follows a similar order last week by a California state judge who delayed Cosby’s scheduled deposition and other evidence in a civil lawsuit accusing Cosby of sexually abusing a girl in 1974 when she was 15 years old.
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