Friday, 18 October, 2019

Philadelphia lawyer withdraws from Cosby defense team

Gene Walsh ó Digital First Media
Bill Cosby arrives at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown for his preliminary hearing on sexual assault Philadelphia lawyer withdraws from Cosby defense team
Lora Ball | 27 January, 2018, 16:50

Bill Cosby, accompanied by Andrew Wyatt, departs after a pretrial hearing in Cosby's sexual assault case at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown on August 22, 2017.

In one of the motions, Cosby alleged that prosecutors at the Montgomery County District Attorney's Office "not only failed to disclose, but have destroyed, exculpatory evidence".

According to Cosby's lawyers, Jackson told detectives in the interview a year ago that she and Constand had worked closely together, had been friends and had shared hotel rooms several times.

"Most significantly, Ms. Constand's own telephone records demonstrate she did not make the calls she claims to have made to Mr. Cosby to coordinate plans for the evening or secure access to his home on any of the nights in the date range", Mesereau, Bliss and Silver wrote in court papers. Jury selection in Montgomery County Court is set to begin on March 29th.

They say in court papers Thursday that prosecutors only recently informed them of an interview a year ago with a woman who cast doubts on Andrea Constand's allegations that Cosby drugged and molested her in 2004.

Each charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in jail. O'Neill also is handling Cosby's retrial. The deliberations took longer than the evidentiary portion of the trial.

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Bill Cosby's new law team filed pretrial motions Thursday in Montgomery County Court.

Jackson told the Associated Press last June that she had spoken with the prosecution and with Cosby's legal team prior to Cosby's first trial.

This will be Cosby's second criminal trial for those charges of sexual assault, after his June 2017 trial led to a hung jury and was declared a mistrial.

The first trial ended in a mistrial when jurors could not agree on a unanimous verdict.

Prosecutors argued Cosby was a trusted friend and mentor who took advantage of a woman in a "vulnerable state", and sexually assaulted Constand. The defense also requested that Marguerite Jackson be permitted to testify. Constand claimed Cosby placed her on a couch, touched her breasts, forced her to touch his penis and performed digital penetration all without her consent.

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