Cosby, 80, is charged with three counts of aggravated indecent assault for allegedly drugging and sexually assaulting former Temple employee Andrea Constand, now 44, at his Elkins Park, Pennsylvania mansion in January 2004. Last June, Judge O’Neill declared a mistrial after jurors were unable to come to a unanimous decision after 52 hours of deliberations.
The retrial is currently scheduled to begin on Monday, April 2 with jury selection starting on Thursday, March 29. Cosby has denied Constand’s allegations as well as similar ones from more than 60 women.
Drugging and sexual assault of Andrea Constand was part of a “sadistic sexual script” perfected over four decades, so much so that it became his “signature,” a prosecutor argued in a Pennsylvania courtroom Monday afternoon.
That’s why 19 other women with similar stories should be allowed to testify at Cosby’s trial next month to demonstrate Cosby’s pattern of “prior bad acts,” argued Montgomery County Assistant District Attorney Adrian Jappe.
“He did the same thing to 19 other women in a strikingly similar fashion,” she said. “In other words, the defendant systemically engaged in a signature pattern of providing an intoxicant to his young female victim then sexually assaulting her once she became incapacitated. Each of these victims have come forward with harrowing accounts of drug-facilitated sexual assaults with the defendant.
“All of these instances shared…a signature for purposes of a common plan or scheme,” she said, spending nearly two hours supporting her argument with various court decisions.
Cosby was in court Monday for two days of pre-trial motions hearings, less than a week after burying his daughter, Ensa, who died of kidney failure on Feb. 24. The judge gave Cosby his condolences before starting the hearing around 9:20 a.m.
The defense will argue against the 19 women being allowed to testify on Tuesday morning.
Regardless of what both sides say, Judge O’Neill has said he will not issue an immediate ruling on whether the women can testify, saying he was going to start “another exhaustive analysis of this issue.”
For the first trial prosecutors asked the judge to allow 13 other women to testify and he only allowed one, Kelley Johnson. The judge never gave a reason for his decision so the prosecution is trying again, only this time adding six more women to the tally and using a different legal rationale.
If he allows any of them to testify, the defense has said they will ask for a delay to the start of the trial so they can fully investigate the additional accusers.