Cosby judge won't toss sexual assault charges

07 March, 2018, 07:23 | Author: Julio Duncan

A state circuit court judge on Monday denied requests from Bill Cosby's lawyers to throw out his sexual assault case.

The defense disputed Constand's testimony at last year's trial that he assaulted her at his suburban Philadelphia home in January 2004, when she was a Temple University women's basketball executive and he was a powerful Temple trustee. 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.

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.

Cosby, 80, has faced dozens of claims of inappropriate behaviour, drugging, and/or sexual assault dating back to the 1960s. In a conversation with Constand around the time of the alleged assault, Jackson alleged Constand told her she could falsely accuse someone of sexual assault to extort money from them.

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.

Cosby is charged with drugging and molesting a woman at his home in 2004.

"This is a matter that will be determined by the jury ultimately", said the judge, who also presided a year ago when Mr. Cosby's first trial ended with a hung jury.

Judge Steven O'Neill said he would not rule on whether to allow the testimony by the end of the two-day hearing, calling it an "extraordinarily weighty issue" that he needs time to review.

All have maintained that they, too, were drugged and assaulted by Cosby in incidents strikingly similar to that described by Constand, Assistant District Attorney Adrienne D. Jappe said.

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".

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.

Constand didn't give a specific date, but said the incident had to have happened prior to January 20, when her cousin moved into her Philadelphia apartment.

District Attorney Kevin R. Steele had asked O'Neill to throw them off the case completely for previously saying his office had failed to alert them prosecutors had interviewed a woman who cast doubt on Constand's allegations.

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.

Any incident that occurred prior to December 30, 2015 would fall outside Pennsylvania's 12-year statute of limitations.

The prosecutors' investigators interviewed Jackson and were successful in getting Jackson barred from testifying during Cosby's first trial. Prosecutors argue the lawyers acted recklessly by making the false claim.

Meanwhile, news of Cosby's ongoing court hearing comes a week after the death of his daughter Ensa, who lost her battle with renal disease, a chronic kidney condition.

Each alleged victim, she said during a pretrial hearing ahead of the April 2-starting trial in Norristown, PA, was younger than Cosby, majority by at least 10 years.

"Now it becomes more than just one accuser against Bill Cosby", he said. But he added the defense lawyers were essentially "on notice".


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