For embattled comedy icon Bill Cosby, the retrial on sexual assault charges is fast approaching. Last year, a Pennsylvania jury deadlocked on whether he was guilty of drugging and sexually assaulting former Temple University employee Andrea Constand at his Philadelphia home. The alleged assault took place more than 10 years ago and a settlement with non-disclosure was allegedly reached with Constand by Cosby.
However, since that time dozens of women have come forward with tales of Cosby’s forcing them into sex that literally go back decades. His lawyers have characterized these accusations as an unfair burden to disprove because of the time that has passed. Now jury selection will start later this month for Cosby’s retrial, which is scheduled to occur April 2, 2018.
On Monday, Judge Steven O’Neill denied a defense motion to dismiss the case on statute of limitations and prosecutorial misconduct grounds. In the dismissal motion, it was argued that telephone records, travel itineraries, and other evidence show the alleged assault couldn’t have happened when his accuser says it did and thus falls outside the statute of limitations. Cosby’s new legal team is headed by former Michael Jackson attorney Tom Mesereau and his services come at a hefty price, which allegedly forced Cosby to take out a huge loan. When the judge denied the motion, he also expressed condolences to Cosby for the recent death of his daughter Ensa, 44, due to renal failure.
Last year, only one other witness was allowed to testify against Cosby to show a pattern of drugging and sexually assaulting women. On Monday, Assistant District Attorney Adrienne D. Jappe asked the judge to allow as many as 19 other accusers to take the stand, including model Janice Dickinson, to demonstrate that Cosby has a nefarious side that counters his public persona as a positive father figure. According to Jappe, Cosby “systematically engaged in a signature pattern of providing an intoxicant to his young female victim and then sexually assaulting her when she became incapacitated.”
If convicted of the charges, the legally blind octogenarian could be on the receiving end of a 10-year sentence in a Pennsylvania State Prison. A tragic end to an incredible legacy of Black excellence.