United States judge Insists On Presiding Over Cosby Sex Case

01 April, 2018, 04:50 | Author: Tara Reeves
  • DEBRE IS CQ

The judge in Bill Cosby's sexual assault trial rejected demands Thursday from the comedian's defense lawyers that he step aside because his wife is a social worker and advocate for assault victims.

Cosby testified in 2005 and 2006 in Andrea Constand's lawsuit against him.

O'Neill, who has already presided over the case for two years, had no choice but to declare a mistrial last June when the jury failed to reach a unanimous verdict against the comedy legend on three counts of aggravated indecent assault.

The defense in particular has shown interest in portraying the Cosby-Constand relationship in a different light.

Tom Mesereau, Cosby's current lead attorney, plans on taking a different tack from the get-go.

"What we do not share are unified views", O'Neill said, adding that his wife's views, "do not influence me one iota". Dickinson alleges that Cosby, now 80, raped her in a hotel room in 1982.

The move illustrates the apparent shift in strategy: Rather than stick with the consensual-romance theme, Cosby's lawyers appear primed toward portraying Constand as somebody who was out for money.

As Cosby's lawyers are battling with O'Neill, who also oversaw his first trial, they also are counting on him to make critical rulings to bolster their defense that Constand is a money-grubbing liar. They say the amount will show "just how greedy" she was. "And that's our theory". He said Cosby's lawyers had presented an antiquated view of marriage where spouses must agree on everything.

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"She is an independent woman, and she has a right to be involved in anything she believes in", O'Neill said in rejecting the recusal motion on Thursday, according to The Washington Post.

Testimony in the retrial is scheduled to begin April 9.

Both the prosecution and defense have parts to lose and gain from the release of the settlement. Assistant DA Stewart Ryan argued today that Cosby's deposition over using quaaludes in the past proves that the comedian understood the effects the drugs have on women, thus pointing to intent. Constand refused those terms.

O'Neill seemed to indicate he may not allow the deposition because of the five accusers he is allowing in the retrial. They say it's possible they might not call any of the supporting witnesses and that any who did testify would be brief.

The court heard arguments about including an earlier testimony by the former trustee, in which he admits he has knowledge about Quaaludes and that he has given them to women in the past.

O'Neill said Friday that 187 Montgomery County residents had been summoned for jury selection Monday, and he anticipates at least 120 will appear. On Friday, attorney Becky James even brought a slip of paper up from the courthouse cafeteria she found during a coffee break.

"There's a vast difference between Benadryl and Quaaludes, although Benadryl may be an ingredient in Quaaludes", she said.

James wasn't the only one to worry about jurors: Not much earlier, O'Neill had warned the attorneys they could be diluting the jury pool with their relentless attacks against one another, hinting he wouldn't tolerate any when the trial begins.

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