by Dominic Patten –AP
Just more than two weeks after Bill Cosby’s criminal case for the alleged 2004 rape of Andrea Constand ended in a mistrial, a date was set today for a new trial. “A retrial in the above-captioned matter is hereby scheduled for Monday, November 6, 2017 at 9:00 a.m. in Courtroom A of the Montgomery County Courthouse, Norristown, Pennsylvania,” read an order by Judge Steven O’Neill on Thursday.
If Montgomery County D.A. Kevin Steele’s office presses the same charges as in the first trial, the almost 80-year-old Cosby faces more than 10 years in jail if convicted on three felony charges of second-degree aggravated indecent assault.
Contacted by Deadline, Cosby’s representatives said they had “no comment at this present time” on the new trial and its scheduled start. At present, an announced town hall tour by The Cosby Show co-creator is still moving ahead, with proposed dates and venues nationwide expected to be made public in the next month or so.
Having promised after the mistrial was declared June 17 that it would seek a new trial, the only comment today by the D.A.’s office was via social media:
Of course, it is a long legal road to November, and it’s likely that Cosby lawyers Angela Agrusa and Brian McMonagle will seek a new judge and a new venue, claiming that O’Neill and Montgomery County are too tainted after the spotlight of the previous unsuccessful trial.
Although Cosby ultimately did not take the stand in his own defense in the first trial, the actor was in court every day and throughout the more that 50 hours of deliberation by the jury.
Former Temple University employee Constand gave nearly 10 hours of testimony at the trial and was in court awaiting the verdict too. She is expected to take the stand again in the new trial in the Philadelphia suburb.
On this side of the country, Cosby is also looking at a civil trial starting July 30, 2018 in the case of an alleged assault 42 years ago against then-15-year-old Judy Huth at Hugh Hefner’s Playboy Mansion. Although the Golden State’s former statute of limitations expired on Huth’s claims of being sexually attacked by Cosby in 1974, she was still able to file in 2014 because she was a minor at the time of the alleged incident.
Due to the longer than most 12-year duration of Pennsylvania’s statute of limitations for sex crimes, the Constand trial represents the only criminal case against the once beloved The Cosby Show actor. More than 60 women have publicly accused Cosby of drugging and sexually assaulting them over the decades and are pursuing civil cases; all of those incidents occurred in jurisdictions where the statute for criminal proceedings has expired.
Just under the wire of the statute of limitations for sex crimes in the Keystone State, the newly elected Steele charged Cosby at the end of 2015. Cosby was arraigned December 30 that year and released on $1 million bail without entering a plea at the time.
Despite admitting in depositions more than a decade ago to giving Constand Benadryl pills on the night of the alleged assault in his Philadelphia-area mansion, Cosby has always insisted that the encounter was consensual.