Bill Cosby’s sexual assault trial will begin in early June with an anonymous, sequestered jury — and the judge estimates testimony will last two weeks.
The TV star was in court Monday as prosecutors and defense lawyers attempted to iron out last-minute details, including whether the jury will hear the comedian’s 25-year-old comments about the aphrodisiac known as “Spanish fly.” Pennsylvania prosecutors contend that an anecdote in Cosby’s memoir about trying to slip the substance to girls as a youth shows that he is open to drugging women for sex. Defense lawyers say the Spanish fly story was clearly a joke. The judge hasn’t ruled on whether the material, along with Cosby’s comments in a deposition about giving women Quaaludes in the 1970s, can be admitted at the trial, which starts June 5 unless jury selection goes longer than expected.
The 79-year-old comedian is charged with drugging and molesting Andrea Constand at his Pennsylvania home in 2004. It’s the only criminal charge stemming from dozens of allegations of misconduct spanning decades — all of which Cosby has vigorously denied. The jury will be selected in the Pittsburgh area after the defense argued that pre-trial publicity made it impossible for Cosby to get a fair trial in the Philadelphia suburbs of Montgomery County, about 300 miles away.