Monday, June 5, 2017

Cosby Drama's Cast of Players: The Prosecutors

When prosecutors enter a Montgomery County courtroom on Monday their time in the international spotlight reaches a crescendo as the celebrity trial of Bill Cosby gets under way.

The players in the widely-followed legal drama include:

Kevin R. Steele

Steele, 50, of Lower Merion, was elected district attorney in November 2015 and was sworn-in on Jan. 4, 2016, to oversee an office that investigates or prosecutes about 9,000 cases annually. It was Steele, as first assistant district attorney, who announced the sex assault charges against Cosby on Dec. 30, 2015, before the 12-year statute of limitations to file charges expired.

Steele, a graduate of The Dickinson School of Law of the Pennsylvania State University who also received a Master of Laws Degree in Trial Advocacy from Temple University Law School, joined the district attorney’s office in 1995 after a two-year stint with the Dauphin County District Attorney’s Office. In Montgomery County, Steele served as an assistant prosecutor, captain of the narcotics unit and chief of the trials division before being appointed first assistant in 2008.
Montgomery County DA Kevin R. Steele/Photo by Carl Hessler Jr.

Steele, who has taught as an adjunct professor at Cabrini College since 2004 and is a married father of three children, prosecuted several high-profile cases, including that of Raghunandan Yandamuri, 30, who was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to death by a jury in 2014 in connection with the Oct. 22, 2012, deaths of 61-year-old Satyavathi Venna and her 10-month-old granddaughter, Saanvi.

Steele also prosecuted former Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane, the first Democrat and the first woman ever elected attorney general, who was convicted during an August 2016 trial of charges of perjury, obstructing administration of law, official oppression, false swearing and conspiracy.

M. Stewart Ryan

Ryan, 30, joined the district attorney’s office in 2012. Since then, he has served in all divisions, including pre-trials, juvenile, appeals and trials. As part of the trials division, he was a member of the firearms unit and the sex crimes unit before being promoted to the captain of the sex crimes unit in February 2015.
M. Stewart Ryan/Photo by Carl Hessler Jr.

Ryan, who earned his law degree from Widener University Delaware Law School in 2012, was part of the team that prosecuted Kane and Yandamuri. Ryan also prosecuted well-known Norristown lawyer Vincent Cirillo Jr., who was convicted of raping a female client and is serving a 10- to-20-year prison term.

Kristen M. Feden

Feden, 34, joined the district attorney’s office in June 2012, after having served as the law clerk for county Judge Garrett D. Page. Since joining the office, Feden, who earned her law degree from Temple University Beasley School of Law in 2009, has served as a prosecutor on various units including most recently as a member of the sex crimes unit before her promotion in February 2017 to captain of the domestic violence unit.

Prior to law school, Feden worked as a financial analyst for Bloomberg, L.P. in New York, according to her biography.
Kristen M. Feden/Photo by Carl Hessler Jr.

Feden was part of the team that prosecuted Yandamuri. Feden also prosecuted Charles Meredith IV, a former tennis coach at a Delaware County school who was convicted of having improper contact with a teenage girl he coached by sending her inappropriate text messages.

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