Culture

Bill Cosby's legal team files motion to dismiss sexual assault charges

Bill Cosby's legal team files motion to dismiss sexual assault charges”

More than two months before Bill Cosby's retrial on sexual-assault charges, lawyers are revving up with a flurry of legal papers in a Pennsylvania court: Cosby's defense wants to get the case tossed, citing prosecutorial misconduct, while the district attorney wants to expand the number of his accusers who are allowed to testify.

According to an affidavit from Jackson that is included with the court documents, Jackson worked with Constand at Temple University and frequently traveled with the university's women's basketball team while Constand was an athletic department employee.

Constand's lawyer says Jackson is lying.

Cosby was accused of drugging and raping Constand at his home near Philadelphia at some point between late December 2003 and early January 2004.

Cosby's defense team claims Cosbywas not in Pennsylvania between that three-week period and that Constand's telephone records do not reflect alleged calls made to him during that time period.

"Despite their knowledge of Ms. Jackson's and Ms. Constand's relationship, the prosecutors stood silent while Ms. Constand testified under oath that she did not know Ms. Jackson and they persuaded the court to bar the defense from exploring the topic with Ms. Constand through cross-examination and from calling Ms. Jackson to testify", defense lawyers wrote. "I felt Ms. Constand was setting up a celebrity, just as she told me she was going to do", Jackson wrote in her sworn affidavit. On Friday, Cosby filed a motion to dismiss the case, accusing prosecutors of withholding and destroying evidence that could have helped him at trial. Cosby asserts the prosecution thus allowed Constand to "testify falsely" during the first trial. The defense also requested that Marguerite Jackson be permitted to testify. "It is highly incredible that with that much contact, Ms. Constand would not remember Ms. Jackson".

"Yet, the prosecution failed to disclose to the defense that they met with this witness and that they destroyed the notes of their meeting", the defense team wrote.

Now both sides are getting ready to go at it again in Norristown, Pa., outside Philadelphia, with District Attorney Kevin Steele back at the head of the prosecution team.

Cosby has maintained the encounter was consensual. The retrial is set to begin on April 2.

After hearing a week of evidence in June past year, jurors deliberated for 53 hours and asked 12 questions of the court, but were unable to reach a verdict.

After an 11-day trial and five days of deliberations in June, the jury deadlocked and Judge Steven O'Neill declared a mistrial.

Steele immediately vowed to seek a retrial.

The newspaper does not normally identify victims of sex crimes without their consent but is using Constand's name because she has identified herself publicly.



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