Tuesday, 18 December, 2018

Cosby fights to block accusers, but show settlement

Bill Cosby arrives for a pretrial hearing in his sexual assault case at the Montgomery County Courthouse Monday Cosby fights to block accusers, but show settlement
Stacy Diaz | 08 March, 2018, 23:06

Bill Cosby arrives for a pretrial hearing for his sexual assault trial at the Montgomery County Courthousein Norristown, Pa., on March 5, 2018.

The defense asked Judge O'Neill to deny the prosecution's request to allow 19 other women to testify at Cosby's April 2nd trial.

The 80-year-old comedian is charged with sexually assaulting a woman at his home in 2004. The defense called the allegations irrelevant because numerous accusations are decades old and unproven.

Later, O'Neill said he expects the trial to last "easily a month" - more than twice as long as last year's trial, which ended in a hung jury and a mistrial.

Before Cosby's first trial in June, the prosecution filed a motion to include 13 women who accused Cosby of similar acts.

Mesereau argued the settlement ties directly to a claim from Constand's former co-worker who said Constand spoke about fabricating sexual assault allegations against a celebrity so she could sue and get money.

Allowing the civil settlement, which was reached in 2006 after then District Attorney Bruce Castor told Constand that there wasn't evidence to proceed with a criminal case, promises to provide even more insight into Cosby's relationship with Constand, a former Temple University employee.

The judge has said he'll rule at a later time.

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.

Bill Cosby center arrives for a pretrial hearing in his sexual assault case at the Montgomery County Courthouse Monday

"With the current atmosphere, it's going to be hard enough to get the jury to focus on the trial at hand", one of Cosby's lawyers said "But bringing in additional accusers - especially 19 of them - in that environment would be highly prejudicial". But Mesereau has said he wants to reference her claim in his opening statement during the retrial.

Taken together, the comments suggest that Cosby's defense will more aggressively target Constand and her motivations during the upcoming trial. He said jurors will learn "just how greedy" she was when they hear details about how much money she demanded from Cosby and what the star wound up paying her.

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's lawyers tried to block those 19 women from appearing in court, arguing that the #MeToo and Time's Up movements will make it impossible for the comedian to have a fair trial, The Inquirer reports. One of the biggest problems, she said, is that numerous people she would need to interview to defend Cosby against the accusations are dead or dying, and many necessary documents are simply gone.

Bill Cosby will once again go to trial to face rape accusations after attorneys from both sides attacked each other's credibility in a Montgomery County, Penn. court hearing on Monday.

Of the other potential witnesses whom prosecutors want to call, the oldest allegation against Cosby dates to 1965 and the most recent is from 1990 or 1996, at least eight years before prosecutors say he assaulted Constand.

"Prepare as if it was all 19, that's all I can tell you", he said.

"I didn't pick the 19", Jappe said.

"Now it becomes more than just one accuser against Bill Cosby", he said.