Disco biscuits, Spanish fly: Cosby lawyers to argue evidence

by Abel Hampton April 5, 2017, 0:46
Disco biscuits, Spanish fly: Cosby lawyers to argue evidence

O'Neill said at a pre-trial hearing Monday morning in Norristown that the case remains on track for the trial to begin June 5.

Cosby, 79, is accused of drugging and molesting Constand, then a Temple women's basketball team manager, in 2004.

Along with discussing the layout of the jury, Cosby's lawyer's discussed whether damaging comments Cosby made about Constand during a 2006 deposition in the civil suit she filed against the comedian will be allowed in the trial. Last month, the girl's mother told The Associated Press that her daughter received online threats following the attack and that neighborhood kids were ringing her doorbell looking for the girl, who hasn't returned to the neighborhood.

O'Neill did not rule on the issue at a hearing Monday in Montgomery County.

His words make clear his longstanding interest in using intoxicants to incapacitate women, prosecutors said.

Opting to begin that process two weeks early, O'Neill noted that "the defense seeks alternative, but not dramatically alternative, selection methods".

The defense wants the jury pool prescreened through a written questionnaire on their background, media habits and feelings about Cosby. The latest showdown over evidence in his sexual-assault caseis scheduled to start at 9:30am.

Judge Steven O'Neill told the court that the standard 16-question survey is fine.

"You can not walk into a grocery store, a convenience store, a minimart, without seeing (tabloid reports) ... calling him a racist", Defense Attorney Angela Argrusa said in court Monday.

During sworn depositions taken after Constand sued Cosby, the entertainer acknowledged obtaining prescription sedatives in the 1970s to give to young women.

Yet Assistant District Attorney Stewart Ryan noted that county police had found a large stash of quaaludes even in a 2003 case, 20 years after they were banned from the market.

Prosecutors argue that Cosby's testimony from Constand's 2005 lawsuit, along with his comedic riffs on the supposed aphrodisiac Spanish fly, show his familiarity with date rape drugs. They quote Cosby making Spanish fly references in his 1991 book Childhood and in an interview that year with talk show host Larry King.

The comedian, who has been accused of drugging and sexually assaulting more than 50 women over a span of four decades, has repeatedly denied the allegations. Cosby maintains the sexual encounter was consensual.

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