Judge says Bill Cosby Is Blind and May Need Assistance at Trial

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The Latest on the hearing in Bill Cosby’s sexual assault case (all times local):
3 p.m.

A Pennsylvania judge says Bill Cosby is blind and might need special accommodations at his upcoming sexual assault trial.

Judge Steven O’Neill says Cosby’s lawyer disclosed the 79-year-old comedian’s condition in a letter before Tuesday’s pretrial conference.

Cosby was arrested last December on charges he drugged and assaulted a woman at his suburban Philadelphia home in 2004.

Cosby looked noticeably healthier as he walked into court for the pretrial conference. He clutched an aide’s arm but didn’t have the wooden cane he’s used at past hearings.

Cosby’s eyes appeared less milky and he seemed more engaged and animated as he spoke with his legal team.

Cosby’s lawyers are asking that prosecutors not be allowed to use a telephone conversation recorded by his accuser’s mother and other evidence at his trial.

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2:55 p.m.

The judge presiding over Bill Cosby’s criminal sex assault case is indicating that he wants a trial to start before June.

Lead defense lawyer Brian McMonagle said at a hearing Tuesday that he has other trials booked until June.

But Montgomery County Judge Steven O’Neill says McMonagle might have to review his schedule and look for an earlier date.

Cosby has been fighting the charges since his Dec. 30 arrest.

The case involves a 2004 encounter with a Temple University employee who says she was drugged and molested.

Prosecutors reopened the case amid new evidence and arrested Cosby days before the 12-year statute of limitations expired.

Cosby insists the sexual encounter with accuser Andrea Constand was consensual.

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2:50 p.m.

Pennsylvania prosecutors preparing for Bill Cosby’s sex assault trial hope to paint the comedian as a serial offender by having 13 other accusers testify.

The criminal case against the 79-year-old actor involves a single 2004 encounter at his home with former Temple University employee Andrea Constand.

But prosecutors can introduce similar uncharged acts to try to show a pattern of behavior.

Montgomery County prosecutors at a hearing Tuesday say they have reviewed accusations from about 50 women and believe 13 should be allowed to testify.

The defense is expected to vehemently oppose such testimony.

Constand told police that Cosby drugged and molested her. Legal experts say a judge might allow similar Cosby allegations in which drugs or alcohol were involved.

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1:15 p.m.

Bill Cosby is back in a suburban Philadelphia courtroom for a hearing in his felony sexual assault case.

He held onto an aide’s arm Tuesday as he arrived to court dressed in a light blue striped seersucker jacket.

His lawyers are trying to keep some key evidence out of the case.

They hope to suppress several days of testimony Cosby gave in the accuser’s lawsuit a decade ago. They also hope to suppress a secretly recorded 2005 phone call Cosby had with the mother of his accuser.

Cosby says his 2004 sexual encounter with Andrea Constand was consensual. The Associated Press doesn’t normally name people who say they are victims of sexual assault unless they come forward publicly, as Constand has done.

The judge could set a trial date.

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12:15 a.m.

Bill Cosby’s defense team will have a new look when the actor returns to a suburban Philadelphia courtroom for a hearing in his sexual assault case.

Cosby has streamlined his legal team as the case heads to trial.

A judge on Tuesday could set a trial date.

Cosby’s lawyers also will push to suppress key evidence, including the deposition Cosby gave in the accuser’s 2005 lawsuit.

Cosby acknowledges giving Andrea Constand several pills before what he calls a consensual sexual encounter. Prosecutors say he drugged and molested her.

Cosby has parted ways with a Washington lawyer who has handled press appearances. Veteran Philadelphia criminal lawyer Brian McMonagle is expected to lead the courtroom fight.

Cosby also has hired a new Los Angeles firm to defend several defamation cases filed by accusers around the country.

Source: The AP