Cosby wants sexual assault case tossed or witnesses limited

Bill Cosby Case Back In Court For Pretrial Hearing

Bill Cosby will be back in court Monday ahead of his sexual assault retrial.

"I really don't know what my ruling is", Montgomery County Judge Steven T. O'Neill said on Tuesday, advising prosecutors and defense lawyers his ruling will come after he carefully weighs the issue but before jury selection begins March 29 for Cosby's retrial.

"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 December 30, 2003, and January 20, 2004. Cosby's lawyers say none of the other women should be allowed to testify because their allegations are old and impossible to defend.

"These are just ancient accusations which make them far less relevant".

The hearing is scheduled to continue Tuesday as O'Neill considers whether to allow additional accusers to testify at the retrial. "Letting in multiple mini-trials, which is what this would be, would just dominate the trial".

"If anything, they are more prejudicial because of the environment today", James argued.

Prosecutors had tried to admit 13 other women to the case a year ago, but Judge O'Neil admitted only one.

O'Neill allowed one of the 19 women to testify in that trial.

"All we have here are accusations that have been influenced".

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

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

Prosecutors have put forth a list of 19 women, including model Janice Dickinson, whom they would like to call to the stand - six more than they sought in the first trial and 18 more than O'Neill allowed at the time. "The defendant picked the 19".

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For prosecutors, having several accusers tell similar stories about Cosby would give them a chance to smooth over issues with Constand's credibility and insulate her from attacks from his lawyers, who are keen to portray her as a money-grubbing liar.

Johnson testified that Cosby knocked her out with a pill during a 1996 meeting at the Bel-Air Hotel. Johnson testified she met Cosby around 1990 through her employment working as an assistant to Cosby's personal appearance agent at the William Morris Agency.

Cosby's legal team, featuring seven lawyers in all, is trying to block prosecutors from calling the 19 women to the stand.

O'Neill did not rule Tuesday on arguments made over two days by prosecutors and defence lawyers on how many, if any, of Cosby's other accusers will be allowed to take the stand.

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

But defense lawyers argued they'd be virtually hamstrung in making a defense. He insisted that no notes were taken during his office's interview with Jackson and said prosecutors had any number of reasons to doubt her testimony - chiefly, that Cosby has admitted to having a past sexual liaison with Constand.

Cosby's attorneys also railed against inconsistencies and how prosecutors say he used intoxicants to incapacitate all of his alleged victims.

Cosby, 80, remains free on 10 percent of $1 million bail, pending the retrial.

"The objective would just be to enrage the jury beyond what is going on outside the courtroom with the MeToo movement and other things that have nothing to do with Mr. Cosby at all", defence lawyer Becky James told Judge Steven O'Neill on Tuesday during the second day of a pre-trial hearing in Norristown, Pennsylvania.

Steele immediately vowed to seek a retrial.

Bill Cosby's high-powered Hollywood lawyer wants to tell jurors about the entertainer's financial settlement with the woman he's charged with sexually assaulting.

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