#MeToo Wasn’t Around for Bill Cosby’s First Trial. Will It Decide His Second One?

Bill Cosby heads to trial next month on the same drugging and sexual assault charges he was tried on last year—but in a remarkably different atmosphere.

In the interim the #MeToo movement sprang to life, with sexual allegations toppling more than 100 men. His will be the first prosecution in the post #MeToo era but even the attorney for Andrea Constand, whose allegations are the subject of next month’s retrial, isn’t sure whether the movement helps or hurts her client.

“I’m just afraid of the backlash—because at some point there will be backlash,” Dolores Troiani told The Daily Beast.“The awareness being brought to these issues from the #MeToo movement is undeniable and long overdue… but we will have to wait to see if it impacts juries in this case and others,” Kristen Houser, spokeswoman for the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, told The Daily Beast. “It is a new phenomena.”

Cosby, 80, is charged with three counts of aggravated indecent assault for allegedly drugging and sexually assaulting former Temple employee Constand, now 44, at his Elkins Park, Pennsylvania, mansion in January 2004. Last June, Montgomery County Judge Stephen O’Neill declared a mistrial after jurors were unable to come to a unanimous decision after 52 hours of deliberations.

Cosby’s retrial is currently scheduled to begin on Monday, April 2, with jury selection starting on Thursday, March 29, in Norristown, Pennsylvania. His spokesman declined to comment for this story. Cosby has denied Constand’s allegations as well as similar ones from more than 60 women.

On Monday, he will be in court in Norristown for two days of pre-trial motion hearings on issues that will shape his upcoming retrial—and possibly even delay it. Five issues will be addressed at the hearings including two defense motions to dismiss the charges, one for prosecutorial misconduct and one for insufficient evidence proving the incident occurred within the statute of limitations period. CLICK FOR MORE

Nicki Egan:
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