Wednesday, 15 August, 2018

Bill Cosby's lawyers argue for trial delay

Bill Cosby 80 has pleaded not guilty in his criminal case in Montgomery County Bill Cosby 80 has pleaded not guilty in his criminal case in Montgomery County
Elijah Vega | 01 April, 2018, 04:49

"The '70s isn't relevant in this case", said defense lawyer Becky James, calling quaaludes use then widespread. "It was not to assault them". It was not to make them incapacitated.

O'Neill said Thursday that Cosby's old lawyers raised the prospect of having him step aside in December 2016, but never followed through.

District Attorney Kevin Steele asked a judge Friday to let them read the testimony into the record at Cosby's April 9 sex assault retrial, just as it was at the first one that ended in a hung jury past year.

Steele said the testimony, along with the testimony of up to five additional accusers, bolsters their plan to portray Cosby as a serial predator.

A year ago, District Attorney Kevin Steele's team of prosecutors started their case by calling to the stand Kelley Johnson, the lone other accuser allowed to testify.

Bill Cosby's lawyers say the comedian's lurid deposition testimony about giving quaaludes to women before sex is irrelevant to his April 9 sex assault retrial because there's no evidence he gave his accuser the drug.

For the new trial, which is scheduled to kick off on April 9, Cosby will be represented by Los Angeles attorney Tom Mesereau, who famously defended a roster of celebrities including Michael Jackson and Mike Tyson.

In a last-ditch attempt to delay the retrial, scheduled to begin jury selection on Monday, Cosby's attorneys pointed to the donation to an organization that helped fund an activist group that plans to protest outside the retrial, The Associated Press reported.

A huge part of Cosby's case from previous year was his admitted use of quaaludes.

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Defense lawyers want them to hear from a woman who says his accuser was out for money.

The 2017 trial irrevocably damaged the once-towering icon of United States popular culture, loved by millions as "America's Dad" and best known for his seminal role as a father and obstetrician on hit 1984-92 TV series The Cosby Show.

The AP does not typically identify people who say they are victims of sexual assault unless they grant permission, which Constand and Dickinson have done. His lawyers say quaaludes never came in that colour. She claims she saw the comedian as a mentor, and that he drugged and raped her when she went to his home in Cheltenham one night for career guidance.

"The man sitting right over there said these things and they were typed down", Ryan said.

Cosby's lawyers outlined their plan to portray the accuser at his sexual assault retrial as a greedy liar who framed the comedian to get rich at the first day of hearings on Thursday.

Another piece of evidence that the defense wants to admit to attack Constand's character is the dollar amount Cosby paid her in 2006 to settle the civil suit.

They argued in court papers on Friday that the 14 proposed supporting witnesses are irrelevant and would only further confuse and distract the jury.

The second of two days of a hearing on pretrial motions ended Friday afternoon with several expected rulings by O'Neill still outstanding.

The judge's wife, Deborah O'Neill, is a psychotherapist at the University of Pennsylvania and coordinates a team that cares and advocates for student sexual assault victims.

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