Bill Cosby sex abuse trial scheduled for 2017

(CNN)After years of accusations and denials, Bill Cosby will finally go on trial next year.

On Tuesday, a judge in Pennsylvania scheduled a June 5, 2017, court date for the 79-year-old entertainer.

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He is charged with three counts of felony aggravated indecent assault related to a 2004 case involving Andrea Constand, an employee at his alma mater, Temple University.
She said she went to his home in a Philadelphia suburb for a career consultation and he gave her a mix of pills and wine that left her incapacitated and unable to consent to sex.
Cosby has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

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He arrived at the hearing with his lawyers, wearing a light gray sports coat with dark stripes and moving slowly while holding a man’s arm.
Cosby’s vision is failing. Judge Steven O’Neill, speaking Tuesday at a preliminary hearing in the Philadelphia suburb of Norristown, told Cosby’s lawyers they should act soon if Cosby needs special accommodations for his vision problems during the trial.
This is the first time Cosby has faced criminal charges, though more than 50 women have come forward in recent years to say Cosby sexually abused them over the last four decades. Most of the other alleged incidents occurred outside the statute of limitations.
But some of those other women may testify at Cosby’s trial.
O’Neill said the district attorney has filed a motion intending to present witnesses to 13 alleged prior instances.
Rule 404(b) of the Pennsylvania Rules of Evidence allows prosecutors to call witnesses about a defendant’s previous conduct if it relates to the trial at hand. They could help prosecutors buttress Constand’s allegations.
The women who might testify are not named in the motion and O’Neill did not rule on it Tuesday.
Nor did he rule on motions to throw out two key pieces of evidence: a deposition Cosby gave in a 2005 lawsuit by Constand and a recording of a phone call between Cosby and Constand’s mother.
Defense lawyers said they planned to file motions for a change of venue and the judge gave them 60 days to file.

The 2005 deposition

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A transcript of the call has him asking about a beeping, which Gianna Constand says was a parrot. In the deposition, Cosby was asked if he believed the call was recorded and he replied yes, Steele’s response says.
Further, Cosby knew he was placing a call to Canada, which only requires one-party consent, Steele says.
A transcript of the call shows Cosby offering to pay for Andrea Constands’ further education.
The recording was played in court and the audio quality was weak, with both prosecutors and the judge saying they could not hear any beeps.

Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2016/09/06/us/bill-cosby-sex-abuse-hearing/index.html

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