NORRISTOWN, Pennsylvania—None of Bill Cosby’s 19 accusers prosecutors want to testify at his trial should be allowed because it’s going to be difficult enough to get an unbiased jury in light of the #MeToo movement, one of Cosby’s defense attorneys argued Tuesday morning.
“The purpose would just be to enrage the jury this time fueled by even more prejudicial… ‘Me Too’ accusations that have nothing to do with Mr. Cosby at all,” attorney Becky James told the court.
“With that atmosphere it’s going to be hard enough to get the jury to focus on the case itself, but to bring in 19 witnesses in that environment would be extremely prejudicial,” she said. “Today we live in an environment where accusations rage out there…many, many accusations against many, many celebrities, not only Mr. Cosby,” she said.
The attorney for Cosby’s alleged victim, Andrea Constand, told The Daily Beast previously she feared about a “backlash” to #MeToo.
Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele has asked the court Monday to allow 19 women who say Cosby drugged and sexually assaulted them over a 40-year period be allowed to testify at trial as evidence of “prior bad acts. James spent 90 minutes arguing why that shouldn’t be allowed.
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 Philadelphia-area mansion in January 2004. Last June, Montgomery County Judge Steven O’Neill declared a mistrial after a jury deliberated for 52 hours without being able to reach a verdict. Cosby’s new trial is scheduled to begin April 2, with jury selection starting on March 29. CLICK FOR MORE