Published: Wed, March 07, 2018

Bill Cosby Goes to Court to Stop Accusers From Testifying

Bill Cosby Goes to Court to Stop Accusers From Testifying

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.

But the Cosby case qualifies as an exception, Jappe told Judge O'Neill on Monday, because the way he abused the 19 women was so repetitive and consistent.

Steele also asked that 19 of Cosby's accusers be allowed to take the stand in April when the second trial is expected to begin.

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. To date, more than 50 women have publicly accused the entertainer of sexual assault.

The defense contended that prosecutors want to call the other accusers to the stand because they're desperate to bolster an otherwise weak case. Cosby's new legal team is headed by former Michael Jackson attorney Tom Mesereau and his services come at a hefty price, which allegedly forced Cosby to take out a huge loan.

Judge O'Neill could decide whether to allow more accusers to testify in the retrial as early as Tuesday.

Dave Zuckerman, a former prosecutor who practices criminal defense in the Pittsburgh area, said that "might help put the case over the edge in favor of the prosecution".

The prosecution's argument centered on two precedents for allowing the other women to testify, the first allowing for the admission of prior bad acts when they are "distinctive and so almost identical as to become the signature of the same perpetrator".

"He did it 19 times before he did it to Andrea Constand", Assistant District Attorney Adrienne Jappe said, referring to the woman who has accused Cosby of sexual assault at the TV star's home near Philadelphia between 30 December, 2003, and 20 Janauary, 2004.

The actor/comedian, best known as the wise and witty father on TV's "The Cosby Show", has repeatedly denied wrongdoing, saying that any sexual encounter was consensual.

The 80-year-old comedian entered a suburban Philadelphia courtroom Monday on the arm of his spokesman.

Even before Monday's arguments got underway, Cosby's lawyers were rapped by the judge for falsely accusing prosecutors of hiding or destroying evidence. The judge called the allegation serious but says he's reluctant to break up Cosby's legal team with his retrial looming.

O'Neill remained unswayed by either side's efforts, allowing the new defense lawyers to forge ahead and refusing their request to throw out the case. "If it was a large settlement, why did Cosby pay such a large settlement for something that he says didn't happen?" Constand testified she would have called Cosby to be let into his home, but his lawyers said her phone records don't reflect such a call within her timeframe.

The dates are critical because Cosby was arrested December 30, 2015, and there's a 12-year statute of limitations.

When a jury deadlocked at Cosby's first sex-assault trial last June, Weinstein was still a mighty Hollywood mogul.

Prosecutors argued the lawyers acted recklessly by making the false claim. When the judge denied the motion, he also expressed condolences to Cosby for the recent death of his daughter Ensa, 44, due to renal failure.

Cosby's lawyers have argued that some of the other accusers' allegations date to the 1960s and present the defense with a almost impossible burden. But he added the defense lawyers were essentially "on notice". They say the testimony is needed to counter the defense team's "inevitable attacks" on Constand's credibility.

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