View Full Version : (Black serial rapist) Bill Cosby in the news

The Bobster
03-31-2018, 08:36 AM

Judge Hints He May Not Allow Cosby’s Prior Testimony Giving Quaaludes To Women Before Sex
March 30, 2018 at 11:58 pm

NORRISTOWN, Pa. (AP) — The judge in Bill Cosby’s sexual assault retrial hinted Friday that he could keep jurors from hearing the comedian’s prior testimony about giving quaaludes to women before sex, a potential blow to the prosecution’s plans to portray him as a serial predator. :mad:

Judge Steven O’Neill said at a pretrial hearing that he won’t rule on the testimony until it’s brought up at the retrial, which is scheduled to begin April 9 in suburban Philadelphia.

“This defendant is not on trial for what he said in his deposition,” O’Neill said.

Jury selection is scheduled to begin Monday as the 80-year-old Cosby faces charges he drugged and molested former Temple University athletics administrator Andrea Constand at his suburban Philadelphia home in 2004.

The quaalude testimony came from a deposition that was part of Constand’s civil suit against Cosby. It was included in the first trial that ended with a hung jury and prosecutors contend it is more evidence of his prior bad acts.

Cosby admitted in the testimony he gave quaaludes to a 19-year-old before having sex in the 1970s, but his lawyers say it’s irrelevant to the trial because there’s no evidence he gave his accuser the

“The ’70s isn’t relevant in this case,” said defense lawyer Becky James, calling quaalude use then widespread. “It was not to assault them. It was not to make them incapacitated. It was never with the purpose or intent of having sex with unconsenting women.”

District Attorney Kevin Steele said the testimony, along with the testimony of up to five additional accusers, bolsters their plan to portray Cosby as a serial predator. Those women weren’t allowed to testify at the first trial.

Prosecutors say they want O’Neill to allow the drug testimony, because otherwise they’d only be able to use it to cross-examine Cosby if he testifies. Cosby did not testify in the first trial.

Constand says Cosby gave her three blue pills. His lawyers say quaaludes never came in that color. The comedian contends he gave her the over-the-counter antihistamine Benadryl.

Assistant District Attorney Stewart Ryan argued Cosby’s deposition testimony is important because it shows he had an awareness of the effects that central nervous system depressants, such as quaaludes, have on women, and it shows his admitted intent for using such drugs.

“The man sitting right over there said these things and they were typed down,” Ryan said.

Lawyer Dennis McAndrews, who prosecuted chemical heir John E. duPont for murder in 1997, said it will be a “closer case” if the judge excludes the evidence.

He said Cosby’s testimony along with an old comedy routine about Spanish fly are evidence of his consciousness of the effects of the intoxicants and his willingness to use them.

“It is very relevant testimony to show a preexisting desire and willingness to use controlled substances of any kind that are available to facilitate non-consensual sex,” he said.

While O’Neill dealt Cosby’s lawyers a blow by allowing the testimony from additional accusers, Cosby’s lawyers are counting on him to make rulings critical to their plan to portray the accuser as a greedy liar who framed the comedian.

O’Neill had said he would rule Friday on testimony from a witness who claims Constand spoke about falsely accusing a celebrity before going to police, but hadn’t done so by the time court offices closed.

The judge also has to decide how much jurors will hear about Cosby’s financial settlement with Constand. His lawyers say the amount will show “just how greedy” she was.

Prosecutors said the theory that Constand wanted to set Cosby up is undermined by his testimony in a 2005 deposition that she only visited his home when invited and that he gave her pills without her asking.

Cosby’s lawyers also argued in court papers Friday that the retrial should be postponed if prosecutors are allowed to bring in more witnesses in a bid to bolster the accounts of the five additional accusers.

They argued that the 14 proposed supporting witnesses, including celebrity doctor Drew Pinsky and book publisher Judith Regan, are irrelevant and would only further confuse and distract the jury.

O’Neill said he’ll decide on the supporting witnesses one-by-one during the trial. Prosecutors say they’ll be used in a limited role to describe the accusers’ demeanor after the alleged assaults and buttress criticism of them for failing to go to the authorities in a timely fashion.

Cosby’s lawyers argued none of the potential witnesses were present when the alleged assaults occurred, and many weren’t told about them by the accusers until years later.

O’Neill, who presided over Cosby’s first trial, remained on the case after rejecting the defense’s assertions Thursday that he could be seen as biased because his wife is a social worker and advocate for assault victims.

The Associated Press does not typically identify people who say they are victims of sexual assault unless they grant permission, which Constand has done.

The Bobster
04-03-2018, 07:56 AM

Cosby Judge Delivers 2 Big Victories To Defense
April 3, 2018 at 9:07 am

NORRISTOWN, Pa. (CBS/AP) — Bill Cosby’s defense team got two major legal victories on Tuesday, as the judge is allowing a woman who says his accuser was out for money to testify and for the jury to hear the amount of the settlement she received.

Judge Steven O’Neill said that Marguerite Jackson’s testimony is subject to further rulings at trial, specifically following testimony from accuser Andrea Constand.

At the first trial, O’Neill barred Jackson from testifying after Constand denied knowing her. Since then, prosecutors told Cosby’s lawyers that Constand modified her statement to admit she “recalls a Margo.”

Constand’s attorney says that Jackson is “not telling the truth.”

O’Neill previously helped prosecutor’s case by allowing five additional accusers to testify against Cosby.

He also said Tuesday that he’ll wait until trial, if needed, to rule on up to 14 witnesses prosecutors want to call to support the testimony of the five additional accusers who are taking the stand. Cosby’s lawyers had objected to the witnesses, saying they’d need to postpone the trial to prepare their testimony.

Just one juror was seated as jury selection began on Monday. Things moved at a far slower pace than on the opening day of Cosby’s first trial last spring, when five jurors were selected.

The young man picked as a retrial juror said he did not know anything about Cosby’s case.

He was an outlier among the 120 suburban Philadelphia residents summoned as potential jurors in the case.

Three-quarters of them were sent home for cause – the majority because they said they already have formed an opinion about Cosby’s guilt or innocence.

That leaves just 27 people invited back for individual questioning on Tuesday as prosecutors and Cosby’s lawyers work to fill 17 remaining jury spots. Another group of 120 potential jurors also is being brought in, in case they do not make the cut.

O’Neill said the jury will be sequestered at a hotel and warned that the retrial could last about a month.

Cosby has pleaded not guilty to charges he drugged and sexually molested Constand, a Temple University women’s basketball administrator, at his suburban Philadelphia home in 2004. He says the encounter was consensual.

The former TV star once revered as “America’s Dad” for his family sitcom “The Cosby Show” wore a dark suit with a trench coat draped across his legs and a thin wooden cane in his hand as O’Neill questioned potential jurors.

Picking a jury has proven particularly tough after the #MeToo movement started toppling famous men in rapid succession months after Cosby’s first trial ended in a deadlock.

All but one of the people in the initial group of potential jurors said they were aware of the #MeToo movement or the allegations it spurred against powerful entertainment figures. The lone person who claimed ignorance on #MeToo was not invited back.

Veteran lawyers and jury consultants say #MeToo could cut both ways for Cosby, making some potential jurors more hostile and others more likely to think men are being unfairly accused.

In all, prosecutors and the defense removed a total of 91 potential jurors before breaking on Monday.

But six other people who echoed the lone selected juror in saying they had no knowledge of Cosby’s case are being brought in for individual questioning.

Last year’s trial was mostly a he-said-she-said. For the retrial, O’Neill has ruled jurors can hear from five additional accusers, giving prosecutors a chance to portray Cosby as a serial predator.

The AP does not typically identify people who say they are victims of sexual assault unless they grant permission, which Constand has done.

The Bobster
04-04-2018, 01:12 PM

Bill Cosby Defense Alleges Discrimination in Jury Selection
By Michael R. Sisek
Published at 9:16 AM EDT on Apr 4, 2018 | Updated 3 hours ago

Bill Cosby's lawyers alleged a member of the prosecution team made a disparaging remark Wednesday after a black woman was removed from consideration as a prospective juror in the comedian's sexual assault retrial.

The 80-year-old's comedian's lawyers didn't reveal in open court what they alleged had been said, but sought to use the remark as evidence that prosecutors illegally removed the woman from the jury pool on the basis of her race.

Prosecutors pushed back, noting two blacks have been already been seated as jurors. The judge said he didn't believe the prosecution had any "discriminatory intent" but halted the third day of jury selection to consider the defense argument.

Cosby lawyer Kathleen "Ignorance Is" Bliss said someone connected with the defense team heard someone on the prosecution side say "something that was discriminatory and repulsive."

"By all appearances, she was a perfectly qualified juror who stated that she could be fair and impartial," Bliss said, adding there was no explanation for the woman's removal "other than her race." :rolleyes:

District Attorney Kevin Steele responded there was "absolutely no legitimacy" to the defense's challenge, adding that prosecutors had no problem seating the two other black people who've appeared for individual questioning so far.

"Of the two opportunities we have had to take a member of the African-American community, we have done so," Steele told Judge Steven O'Neill. "For them to now make the claim that the strike of an individual establishes some type of pattern is, I think unfortunately, not being done for this court but for the media behind us."

O'Neill ordered both sides into chambers to talk it over.

The jury so far consists of six whites and two blacks. Four jurors are men and four are women.

Steele didn't give a reason why the prosecution used one of its seven peremptory strikes on the woman, who had said she could ignore what she knows about the Cosby case and the #MeToo movement against sexual misconduct in order to serve as an impartial juror. She also said being a domestic violence victim wouldn't color how she serves.

The battle over the juror's removal highlighted a vast racial disparity in the suburban Philadelphia jury pool that's limiting the number of black people available for consideration.

Just 10 of 240 prospective jurors brought in on the first two days of jury selection were black, or about 4.2 percent. The black population in Montgomery County is about 9.6 percent black, according to the latest U.S. Census estimates.

The county's jury questionnaire asks prospective jurors to self-identity their race to "help the court to monitor the juror selection process to avoid discrimination." The questionnaire makes clear that it's against the law to discriminate against potential jurors.

The county says the names of people called for jury duty are selected randomly from a master list that combines voter registration records and driver's license records.

Cosby's lawyers had appeared ready to strike at the first instance of prosecutors blocking a black juror, producing a legal brief that argued the move violated a 32-year-old Supreme Court ruling that prohibits prosecutors from excluding prospective jurors because of their race. The defense had made the same argument on Tuesday regarding the prosecution's exclusion of several white men, but O'Neill rejected it.

The legal maneuvering came as lawyers picked an eighth juror, a white woman who was at first hesitant to guarantee she could block out what she's read and seen about the Cosby case and the #MeToo movement against sexual misconduct.

"I could try. I mean, it's still in my head," she explained, before eventually agreeing.

Cosby has pleaded not guilty to charges he drugged and molested Andrea Constand at his suburban Philadelphia home in 2004. He says the encounter with the former Temple University women's basketball administrator was consensual.

Prosecutors plan to call as many as five additional accusers in a bid to portray Cosby — the former TV star once revered as "America's Dad" for his family sitcom "The Cosby Show" — as a serial predator.

The AP does not typically identify people who say they are victims of sexual assault unless they grant permission, which Constand has done.

As Wednesday's session got underway, a judge gave The Associated Press and other media organizations more access to jury selection.

Media lawyers had challenged an arrangement that forced reporters to watch the group questioning part of the process on a closed-circuit feed from another courtroom. The camera showed the judge, prosecutors and defense lawyers, but not potential jurors who were being questioned as a group.

Montgomery County President Judge Thomas DelRicci agreed to move the camera to the back of the courtroom so the media could see the potential jurors. The judge refused to make room in the crowded courtroom for a pool reporter, but said if the jury pool did not fill the room to capacity, he'd allow reporters to attend live.