News Briefing: Sept. 22-28, 2017

News Briefing: Sept. 22-28, 2017

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Cosby retrial date set

Bill Cosby’s second trial on allegations that he sexually assaulted a lesbian will begin April 2, according to an order delivered by Judge Steven O’Neill last week. 

O’Neill presided over Cosby’s initial trial in June, which ended in a hung jury.

The retrial had been slated for this fall, but was pushed back after Cosby hired a new team of lawyers, led by Tom Mesereau, who defended Michael Jackson against child-molestation charges. 

The retrial is expected to bring another deluge of publicity to Norristown, the seat of Montgomery County, of which Cosby is a resident. The judge has yet to announce whether jurors will again be selected from outside the county — they were drawn from Western Pennsylvania in the first trial — to avoid media bias.

Cosby faces three felony charges relating to the alleged assault of Andrea Constand in 2004. Constand, then a basketball coach at Temple University, Cosby’s alma mater, said Cosby gave her pills that he said would relax her; she testified in June that the medication incapacitated her and Cosby then fondled her. Cosby’s team maintained the sexual contact was consensual; the victim’s sexual orientation was not brought up at this summer’s trial. 

Constand was one of more than 60 women who contend Cosby sexually assaulted them. 

He also faces sexual-assault charges in California for an alleged 1974 incident involving a 15-year-old at Hugh Hefner’s Playboy Mansion. That trial is slated for December 2018.

Center to host ‘Will & Grace’ screening party

“Will & Grace” fans can celebrate the return of the series with a watch party at William Way LGBT Community Center.

The event starts 7 p.m. Sept. 28 at the center, 1315 Spruce St. Guests will have a chance to win a trip to Los Angeles to see the finale of the show.


Halloween ball to fundraise for HIV/AIDS group 

FACT Bucks County will host a Pumpkin Masquerade Ball to raise money for its HIV/AIDS initiatives.

The event will be held 7:30 p.m. Oct. 14 at Hope Ridge Farm, 2050 Aquetong Road in New Hope. 

Guests are encouraged to come in costumes, with prizes for the best, funniest and scariest costumes. The party will feature a DJ and dancing.

Tickets are $75 in advance or $100 at the door.

For advanced tickets, visit

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