A month after a Pennsylvania district attorney brought the first criminal charges in connection with sexual assault allegations against Bill Cosby, the disgraced comedian picked up a win in a different Pennsylvania courtroom on Thursday. A judge granted Cosby’s motion to dismiss a defamation lawsuit brought by Renita Hill, a Pennsylvania woman. Hill is one of more than 50 women who have accused Cosby of rape or sexual assault. She filed the lawsuit in November 2014 and accused Cosby and his legal team of defaming her after she went public with her accusations. One of Hill’s accusations stemmed from an open letter Camille Cosby, the comedian’s wife, wrote to The Washington Post in which she criticized the media for not properly vetting her husband’s accusers. Other accusations centered on statements by Cosby and his lawyers about Hill’s accusations being unsubstantiated. On Thursday, Judge Arthur J. Schwab ruled that all of the remarks in question were protected by the First Amendment. Schwab dismissed the case and said the Cosby remarks were “pure opinion” and a “far cry from labeling [Hill] (and the other women who have made similar public assertions) as liars or extortionists.” Cosby’s attorney Monique Pressley praised the ruling in a statement posted on Twitter, adding, “It is our hope that that courts in other jurisdictions with similar matters will respond in like manner.” Hill’s attorney blasted the decision and vowed that Hill is “committed to seeking justice in this matter.”
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