Comedian and actor Bill Cosby, who was back in court this week, is expected to return April 2 for the retrial of his sexual-assault case.
Cosby, 80, was accused of sexually assaulting women after drugging them at Pennsylvania suburban home. The allegations trace back to 2004.
Montgomery County Judge Steven O’Neill declared a mistrial in June because jurors were unable to decide on a verdict. The deliberation lasted more than 50 hours. The jury was comprised of seven men and five women.
Cosby’s attorneys are fighting to set a limit on how many women can testify against him in the retrial.
Attorney Tom Mesereau is defending Cosby, who was charged with three counts of aggravated indecent sexual assault.
Among his accusers is Andrea Constand, a former Temple University professor and an out lesbian. Constand is also a former basketball coach at the North Philadelphia university. She was at Cosby’s house in 2004 when, she has alleged, he gave her pills to relax, resulting in her becoming incapacitated. Cosby is accused of sexually assaulting her while she was incapable of moving or speaking.
Constand has testified that she and Cosby had a friendship at one time but that he made “suggestive” advances, which she rebuked. She alleged that he was counseling her about changes in her career when he offered her the “herbal” pills.
Constand took the stand in 2017 at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown in a trial that lasted six days. She filed charges and sued Cosby in 2005. Defense attorneys have argued that there were inconsistencies in Constand’s story.
More than 50 other women also came forward with similar allegations against Cosby, but Constand’s was the only one that led to criminal charges.
While Cosby’s attorneys are requesting a limit on the number of women testifying against him in the retrial, prosecutors contend it’s important to secure Constand’s credibility in the case. In the first trial, only she was permitted to testify, despite the prosecutors’ request to allow 13 women.
Other allegations came from witnesses dating back to 1956, 1990 and 1996. Cosby claims any sexual encounters were consensual.
Prosecutors are requesting that at least 19 accusers be permitted to take the witness stand. O’Neill denied requests to dismiss the case.
Cosby has pleaded not guilty to his charges and was released on $1-million bail.