Bill Cosby’s blindness will impede his ability to receive a fair trial and should lead to a dismissal of the sexual assault charges against him, his lawyers argued in court Wednesday.
“He is physically impaired. He cannot see,” the attorney, Angela Agrusa, said, as Cosby sat nearby with a walking stick at his side.
“We can’t test his memory, because he can’t see,” she said, noting that the condition would hamper Cosby’s ability to counter evidence against him.
The comments came as part of a bid by the entertainer’s lawyers to have the case against him involving Andrea Constand thrown out on the grounds that the alleged incident happened too long ago.
Of the approximately 60 women who’ve stepped forward in the past two years to accuse Cosby of sexual assault, many cite instances that date as far back as the 1960s and 1970s, putting them beyond the statute of limitations.
The Constand case, though, is different. The former Temple University basketball staffer accused Cosby of assaulting her at his Pennsylvania home in 2004, leading the Montgomery County district attorney at the end of 2015 to charge the entertainer with three counts of aggravated indecent assault.
Cosby’s attorneys are seeking to get the charges tossed.
“There was an 11-year delay,” Agrusa said.
“What is gone because of [it]?” Agrusa asked rhetorically, noting the death of a potential witness and Cosby’s worsening sight.
Cosby’s lawyers argue that the case is only being brought now because of politics. Montgomery County Dist. Atty. Kevin Steele ran and won last year on a prosecute-Cosby platform.
During the campaign, Steele’s “cause celebre became attacking Mr. Cosby, stating publicly his opponent has not been aggressive enough,” Agrusa said Wednesday.
But the D.A.’s office has maintained that it simply didn’t have enough evidence earlier, and that charges were brought in December 2015 because details from a 2005 civil deposition were only unveiled the previous summer.
That position on Wednesday was underlined by the judge in the case, Steven T. O’Neill, who questioned Agrusa aggressively.
“Your argument is they [prosecutors] knew or should have known [the contents of the deposition] in 2005 or 2006,” he said. “I’m having a hard time figuring out how that applied in 2015.”
O’Neill also questioned Agrusa on the blindness issue.
“You’re saying because he doesn’t have sight he doesn’t have memory,” the judge said. “That’s a big leap.”
Source: LA Times | Steven Zeitchik