Bill Cosby’s lawyers want to postpone the start of his sexual assault retrial if prosecutors are granted permission to have a string of other alleged victims testify in court.
The embattled comedian’s first face-off with Andrea Constand over an alleged 2004 assault ended with a mistrial ruling last June (17), and after an initial delay due to a reshuffling of defense lawyers, a new start date was scheduled for 2 April (18) in Norristown, Pennsylvania.
Prosecutors are reportedly seeking to have up to 19 other women, including model Janice Dickinson, give evidence about their alleged experiences with Cosby in a bid to establish a pattern of behavior.
Only one other alleged victim was permitted to take the stand during last year’s trial.
Cosby stands accused of drugging and sexually assaulting Constand, claims he has vehemently denied, insisting the encounter was consensual.
Now the veteran funnyman’s legal representatives have challenged the motion for additional testimony, insisting they will require extra time to review the witnesses’ statements if they are allowed in the retrial.
Cosby, 80, has faced dozens of claims of inappropriate behavior, drugging, and/or sexual assault, with some of them dating back to the 1960s, allegations his lawyers insist will be “virtually impossible to defend against” due to concerns like fading memory and lack of evidence.
“Developing a defense to any of these outdated claims will require unusual amounts of investigative effort that cannot be completed by the present trial date,” they state, according to The Associated Press.
Judge Steven O’Neill, who oversaw the original trial, is expected to issue a ruling next month (Mar18), before jury selection gets underway on 29 March.
– Cover Media0