Lawyers say prose­cu­tors us­ing the ‘cast­ing couch’ cliche

Kuwait Times - - LIFESTYLE -

Bill Cosby’s lawyers ar­gued yes­ter­day that prose­cu­tors are reach­ing back to the “cast­ing couch” era to round up fe­male ac­cusers and build a “stale” sex­ual as­sault case against him. And they will take a Penn­syl­va­nia judge through a time warp to prove their point, chal­leng­ing sex­ual mis­con­duct claims that spanned the free­wheel­ing 1960s, pa­tri­otic 1980s and gen­der-bend­ing 21st cen­tury. Cosby ar­rived just be­fore 9 am at the Mont­gomery County Court­house, smil­ing as he chat­ted with his han­dlers.

Prose­cu­tors will ask the judge to let 13 other women tes­tify at the sched­uled June trial that they were drugged and mo­lested by Cosby in a “sig­na­ture” fash­ion. How­ever, de­fense lawyers note there’s lit­tle but hazy mem­o­ries to go on. In a de­fense fil­ing Mon­day, they said the women’s mem­o­ries have been com­pro­mised by time and wide­spread me­dia cov­er­age of the case. “The fact that even the most fer­vently held mem­o­ries can ac­tu­ally be tainted - or al­to­gether false is sup­ported by a vast ex­ist­ing and grow­ing body of sci­ence,” lawyers Brian McMona­gle and An­gela Agrusa wrote. The pre­trial hear­ing is ex­pected to last two days, with an­other hear­ing on the ev­i­dence set for De­cem­ber.

New ev­i­dence

Cosby, now 79 and blind, re­mains free on $1 mil­lion bail. It’s been a half-cen­tury since the co­me­dian be­came the first black ac­tor to star in a primetime TV show, “I Spy,” and more than 20 years since his top-ranked homage to black fam­ily life, “The Cosby Show,” stopped film­ing. He had beaten back a Tem­ple Univer­sity em­ployee’s sex­ual as­sault com­plaint in 2005 when prose­cu­tors said there wasn’t enough ev­i­dence to charge him.

But a new prose­cu­tor, Dis­trict At­tor­ney Kevin Steele, re­opened the Mont­gomery County case last year amid new ev­i­dence: the scores of pub­lic ac­cusers and a newly un­sealed de­po­si­tion that showed Cosby ac­knowl­edg­ing he gave An­drea Con­stand three un­la­beled pills and some wine be­fore stick­ing his hand down her pants. Con­stand, then 30, said she was only semi-con­scious af­ter tak­ing what she thought were herbal pills. She had met Cosby, a Tem­ple booster, through her job and said she went to his house that night for ca­reer ad­vice.

Con­stand set­tled a law­suit against Cosby in 2006. The de­fense, in their mo­tion Mon­day, said her ac­counts of her re­la­tion­ship with Cosby changed in her ini­tial po­lice state­ments - and they said the two had been in­ti­mate be­fore.—AP

Bill Cosby, right, ar­rives for a hear­ing in his sex­ual as­sault case at the Mont­gomery County Court­house yes­ter­day in Nor­ris­town. — AP

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