Disco biscuits, Spanish fly: Cosby lawyers to argue evidence

Apr 05, 2017, 00:43
Disco biscuits, Spanish fly: Cosby lawyers to argue evidence

The judge also declined to set a starting date for jury selection, saying only that he meant to begin in late May, depending on when Allegheny County can accommodate the process.

"This case never had anything to do with Andrea Constand", he said, referring to the former Temple University employee the comedian is charged with sexually assaulting.

Jury selection will begin next month in Pittsburgh, hundreds of miles away. The jurors' names will not be made public, he said.

Like numerous other women, Constand has accused Cosby of giving her pills in order to incapacitate her.

But Judge Steven O'Neill says that doesn't mean prosecutors can't use Cosby's own words on the topic.

The judge in Bill Cosby's sexual-assault trial heard arguments Monday without deciding whether the jury will hear Cosby's decade-old testimony about getting quaaludes to give women before sex.

O'Neill issued no rulings Monday, as lawyers for both sides sparred over whether Cosby's statements about his use of the '70s party drug quaaludes and an aphrodisiac known as "Spanish Fly" should be admitted at trial.

Proceedings open on June 5.

The defense wants the jury pool prescreened through a written questionnaire on their background, media habits and feelings about Cosby.

An aide escorts Bill Cosby to court in Norristown, Pennsylvania, for an April 3 pretrial hearing on sexual assault charges.

His defence team want references to quaaludes and Spanish fly kicked to the curb before the 79-year-old goes on trial in June.

"You can not walk into a grocery store, a convenience store, a minimart, without seeing (tabloid reports) ... calling him a racist", Defense Attorney Angela Argrusa said in court Monday.

Whereas prosecutors stated the jokes showed Cosby's propensity for drugging women, the defense said they were just jokes.

Agrusa argued that to get a fair and impartial jury, a 16-question standard form is "not sufficient" for this case.

During sworn depositions taken after Constand sued Cosby, the entertainer acknowledged obtaining prescription sedatives in the 1970s to give to young women. But his lawyers say that's irrelevant since they were banned 20 years before he met the trial accuser. They have also asked to introduce a boyhood story from Cosby's 1991 book "Childhood" about Spanish fly, and remarks he made the same year in an interview with TV talk show host Larry King. Cosby maintains the sexual encounter was consensual.

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