Bill Cosby's sexual assault case will proceed to trial, judge says

Mar 07, 2018, 07:24
Bill Cosby's sexual assault case will proceed to trial, judge says

Yet his lawyers Monday say Costand's own phone records don't show that any call within that time frame was ever made.

Cosby is facing a retrial on sexual assault charges stemming from an alleged 2004 attack on Andrea Constand - the former director of operations for the women's basketball team at Cosby's alma mater, Temple University.

But Mr. Cosby's lawyers suggested Monday that they had evidence the two women did know each other and argued that investigators should have delved more deeply into their relationship. And while the judge has yet to rule on whether the women will be permitted to testify (his ruling could come as soon as Tuesday), their graphic testimonies would likely bolster the prosecution's case.

Steele said Cosby's lawyers wrongfully claimed the prosecution defied court orders and attempted to suppress a deposition.

The model claimed that Cosby had assaulted her over a decade ago, and she filed a defamation lawsuit against him when he denied her accusation.

Cosby's lawyers argued the alleged assault that led to his arrest couldn't have happened in January 2004, as accuser Andrea Constand has testified, and falls outside the statute of limitations.

O'Neill of the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas ultimately rejected the motion to dismiss and said the issue should be addressed at trial.

Prosecutors are trying to persuade the judge to allow as many as 19 other accusers to testify as the retrial.

The Associated Press does not typically identify people who say they are victims of sexual assault unless they grant permission, which Constand and Dickinson have done.

Cosby, who entered the courtroom on the arm of his spokesman, has said his encounter with Constand was consensual.

Cosby, 80, is charged with drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand, 44, a former administrator of the women's basketball team at his alma mater, Temple University, at the television star's home near Philadelphia between December 30, 2003, and January 20, 2004.

The date is important because Cosby wasn't arrested until December 30, 2015 - meaning any assault prior to December 30, 2003, would have fallen outside the 12-year statute of limitations.

A jury deadlocked on sexual assault charges a year ago, setting the stage for a retrial.

District Attorney Kevin Steele asked O'Neill to throw Cosby's legal team off the case for claiming that prosecutors failed to reveal they'd interviewed a woman who cast doubt on Cosby's accuser.

Judge Steven O'Neill is presiding over the case. He alleged that the new attorneys had lied to the court, and described some of their pretrial strategies as "at best incompetent and otherwise unethical". The judge calls the allegation serious but says he's reluctant to break up Cosby's legal team with his retrial looming.

Prosecutors are retrying this case after the mistrial last June.

Bill Cosby has arrived in court for the start of a pretrial hearing in his sexual assault case.

In the April retrial, prosecutors want to bring women besides Constand to the stand to show a history of sexual misconduct.

During the first trial, Constand testified that she had never met Jackson, and O'Neill barred her testimony.

Monday's hearing came just 10 days after Cosby's 44-year-old daughter, Ensa, died of kidney disease. According to the AP, the fallen television star is seeking to stop some of his accusers from being allowed to testify at his April 2nd criminal retrial.

Cosby's lawyers want the same judge to limit the number of accuser witnesses again. His lawyers insist numerous allegations will be "virtually impossible to defend against" due to concerns like fading memory and lack of evidence.