Cosby’s Defense Team Blaming Racial Prejudice And “A Barrage Of New Accusers”

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The Latest on the hearing in Bill Cosby’s sexual assault case (all times local):

An attorney attacked by Bill Cosby’s spokesman and legal defense team says the comedian appears to be desperate in his fight against criminal sexual assault charges lodged against the actor in Pennsylvania.

Attorney Gloria Allred rejected accusations by Cosby’s spokesman Andrew Wyatt that her representation of several women accusing the comedian of drugging and sexually abusing them was built on racial bias and prejudice.

Allred writes in a statement that several of the women she represents are African-American and she thinks their voices should be heard.

Allred has held numerous press conferences with women who have accused Cosby of sexual misconduct, although it is not clear whether she represents any of the 13 women prosecutors want to testify against the comedian in the criminal case.

She represents a woman suing Cosby, claiming he forced her to perform a sex act at the Playboy Mansion around 1974, when she was underage.

Allred writes that ultimately the Pennsylvania case is about whether or not Cosby is guilty.

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6 p.m.

Bill Cosby’s legal defense team is blaming racial prejudice and “a barrage of new accusers” for the criminal sex-assault charges lodged against the actor in Pennsylvania.

The 79-year-old Cosby, after a court hearing Tuesday, is expected to go to trial by June over a 2004 encounter with a woman he mentored at Temple University.

After the hearing, defense lawyer Angela Agrusa faulted the media for not investigating claims by dozens of other women who have come forward in the past decade.

Cosby spokesman Andrew Wyatt has meanwhile issued a statement blaming lawyers for the women for “the trampling of Mr. Cosby’s civil rights.”

The statement says Cosby has been “no stranger to racial discrimination and hatred” throughout his career.

Cosby became one of the first black actors to star in a network TV show when he was hired in 1965 for a lead role in “I Spy.”

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4:15 p.m.

Prosecutors say 13 women accusing Bill Cosby of drugging and sexually assaulting them over a four-decade span are willing to testify at his sex assault trial in Pennsylvania.

They include aspiring actresses, a flight attendant, a waitress and a masseuse who say Cosby used his celebrity to win their trust before drugging and assaulting them.

Prosecutors asked a judge Tuesday to allow the women to testify as witnesses to a pattern of criminal behavior they say began in 1964. They’re among 50 women who have come forward with allegations against the 79-year-old entertainer.

Cosby has only been charged criminally in the case in Pennsylvania involving Andrea Constand, who says Cosby molested her in 2004.

A judge hasn’t yet ruled on whether the women will be allowed to testify.

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3:50 p.m.

A Pennsylvania judge says he wants Bill Cosby’s felony sexual assault case to go to trial no later than June 5.

Lead defense lawyer Brian McMonagle of Philadelphia says he has other trials scheduled through the spring.

Prosecutors say they hope to have 13 Cosby accusers testify at the trial. The accusers say they were intoxicated by drugs or alcohol that Cosby gave them before they were sexually assaulted.

Cosby is charged with drugging and molesting Andrea Constand in 2004 at his Philadelphia-area home.

Montgomery County Judge Steven O’Neill did not rule Tuesday on whether the other accusers could testify or whether prosecutors could use Cosby’s deposition or a phone call recorded by Constand’s mother in 2005.

The judge says he’ll rule on the phone call within a week.

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3:10 p.m.

Bill Cosby’s lawyers say they’ll likely ask for his trial to be moved from the suburban Philadelphia county where his sexual assault case became a central issue in last year’s election.

Lawyer Brian McMonagle said Tuesday that he’s worried Cosby won’t get a fair trial in Montgomery County. He says District Attorney Kevin Steele’s campaign painted the 79-year-old entertainer as a sexual predator.

McMonagle says he expects to file motions asking either for a change of venue or for a jury that’s picked from another county.

Prosecutors charged Cosby last December with drugging and assaulting a woman at his Montgomery County home in 2004.

The judge notes that Cosby’s case has made worldwide headlines, making it hard to find prospective jurors who haven’t heard details of the accusations.

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3 p.m.

A Pennsylvania judge says Bill Cosby is blind and might need special accommodations at his upcoming sexual assault trial.

Judge Steven O’Neill says Cosby’s lawyer disclosed the 79-year-old comedian’s condition in a letter before Tuesday’s pretrial conference.

Cosby was arrested last December on charges he drugged and assaulted a woman at his suburban Philadelphia home in 2004.

Cosby looked noticeably healthier as he walked into court for the pretrial conference. He clutched an aide’s arm but didn’t have the wooden cane he’s used at past hearings.

Cosby’s eyes appeared less milky and he seemed more engaged and animated as he spoke with his legal team.

Cosby’s lawyers are asking that prosecutors not be allowed to use a telephone conversation recorded by his accuser’s mother and other evidence at his trial.

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2:55 p.m.

The judge presiding over Bill Cosby’s criminal sex assault case is indicating that he wants a trial to start before June.

Lead defense lawyer Brian McMonagle said at a hearing Tuesday that he has other trials booked until June.

But Montgomery County Judge Steven O’Neill says McMonagle might have to review his schedule and look for an earlier date.

Cosby has been fighting the charges since his Dec. 30 arrest.

The case involves a 2004 encounter with a Temple University employee who says she was drugged and molested.

Prosecutors reopened the case amid new evidence and arrested Cosby days before the 12-year statute of limitations expired.

Cosby insists the sexual encounter with accuser Andrea Constand was consensual.

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2:50 p.m.

Pennsylvania prosecutors preparing for Bill Cosby’s sex assault trial hope to paint the comedian as a serial offender by having 13 other accusers testify.

The criminal case against the 79-year-old actor involves a single 2004 encounter at his home with former Temple University employee Andrea Constand.

But prosecutors can introduce similar uncharged acts to try to show a pattern of behavior.

Montgomery County prosecutors at a hearing Tuesday say they have reviewed accusations from about 50 women and believe 13 should be allowed to testify.

The defense is expected to vehemently oppose such testimony.

Constand told police that Cosby drugged and molested her. Legal experts say a judge might allow similar Cosby allegations in which drugs or alcohol were involved.

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1:15 p.m.

Bill Cosby is back in a suburban Philadelphia courtroom for a hearing in his felony sexual assault case.

He held onto an aide’s arm Tuesday as he arrived to court dressed in a light blue striped seersucker jacket.

His lawyers are trying to keep some key evidence out of the case.

They hope to suppress several days of testimony Cosby gave in the accuser’s lawsuit a decade ago. They also hope to suppress a secretly recorded 2005 phone call Cosby had with the mother of his accuser.

Cosby says his 2004 sexual encounter with Andrea Constand was consensual. The Associated Press doesn’t normally name people who say they are victims of sexual assault unless they come forward publicly, as Constand has done.

The judge could set a trial date.

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12:15 a.m.

Bill Cosby’s defense team will have a new look when the actor returns to a suburban Philadelphia courtroom for a hearing in his sexual assault case.

Cosby has streamlined his legal team as the case heads to trial.

A judge on Tuesday could set a trial date.

Cosby’s lawyers also will push to suppress key evidence, including the deposition Cosby gave in the accuser’s 2005 lawsuit.

Cosby acknowledges giving Andrea Constand several pills before what he calls a consensual sexual encounter. Prosecutors say he drugged and molested her.

Cosby has parted ways with a Washington lawyer who has handled press appearances. Veteran Philadelphia criminal lawyer Brian McMonagle is expected to lead the courtroom fight.

Cosby also has hired a new Los Angeles firm to defend several defamation cases filed by accusers around the country.

(© Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments

One Comment

  1. Jesse Peterson says:

    The last refuge of the spoonbill scoundrel is playing the race card. Too bad America’s Dad was an equal opportunity serial rapist.

Comments are closed.

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