When Will Bill Cosby's Trial Start? The Pretrial Could Alter The Course Of The Case
An evidence hearing could clarify the next steps in Bill Cosby's legal battle on Tuesday, Sept. 6. In December, the 79-year-old comedian was charged with drugging and molesting Andrea Constand, a woman he mentored at Temple University in 2004, the Associated Press reported. Cosby has pleaded not guilty to all charges. In May, a Pennsylvania judge ruled that Cosby would stand trial after he was charged on three felony counts of aggravated indecent assault, but it wasn't clear when the trial would be. However, Cosby's trial date could be decided during Tuesday's evidence hearing — more than a decade after he was accused of sexual misconduct for the first time.
The trial date, if announced, would not be the only thing addressed during the hearing. AP reported that Cosby's lawyers will ask the judge to suppress Cosby's deposition from Constand's original lawsuit against him in 2005. In the deposition, Cosby said that he had given drugs and alcohol to a number of women, and admitted to multiple extramarital affairs. In describing what happened with Constand, Cosby said that he went "into the area that is somewhere between permission and rejection" and was "not stopped."
Moreover, his legal team also wants to prevent the jurors from listening to a taped phone call that took place between himself and Constand's mother, according to CNN, because Cosby is reportedly worried that he will come off as "a dirty old man with a young girl." An even more pressing question, however, is whether the trial will permit testimonies from any of the more than 50 women who have accused Cosby of sexual assault.
When it was announced that Cosby would go to trial, his defense attorney, Brian McMonagle, argued that the evidence presented at the May hearing was "evidence of nothing," and disagreed with the decision to move forward with a trial. Nevertheless, the judge found enough evidence to necessitate a criminal trial, CNN reported at the time. CNN also explained that each of the three felony charges Cosby faces carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, but the judge could choose to make Cosby serve these sentences concurrently. So if he is convicted on all three charges but serves the sentences concurrently, he would serve no more than 10 total years in prison.
Judge Steven O'Neill is expected to hear arguments on some — if not all — of the issues put forth by Cosby's legal team during Tuesday's evidence hearing, according to AP, as well as potentially set the date for the trial.