Tue | Dec 11, 2018

Cosby defence blocked from using deposition; retrial nears end

Published:Monday | April 23, 2018 | 9:45 AM
Bill Cosby arrives for his sexual assault trial, Monday, April 23, 2018, at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pa. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

NORRISTOWN, Pa. (AP) — Jurors in Bill Cosby’s sexual assault retrial won’t hear old deposition testimony from a confidante of his chief accuser, a judge ruled Monday, dealing a blow to his lawyers’ effort to undermine her credibility.

As the trial entered its home stretch, Judge Steven O’Neill said there’s “no persuasive” reason to let Cosby’s lawyers read Sheri Williams’ deposition testimony into the record.

The defence wanted to use the testimony from Andrea Constand’s 2005 civil lawsuit against Cosby after failing to reach Williams with a subpoena, but O’Neill rejected the request, saying a prosecutor should have the right to cross-examine her.

Cosby wound up settling Constand’s lawsuit for nearly $3.4 million.

Constand testified at Cosby’s first trial last year that she and Williams were good friends and were in touch as she went to police in January 2005 with allegations the TV star drugged and molested her.

Cosby’s lawyers said they expected Williams’ testimony to refute Constand’s claims that she was unaware he was romantically interested in her.

They said she’d show that Constand “could not have been the unwitting victim” prosecutors have portrayed.

After blocking her deposition, O’Neill said closing arguments in the retrial are expected Tuesday.

The jury in Cosby’s first trial deadlocked last year, setting the stage for the 80-year-old comedian’s retrial on three counts of aggravated indecent assault.

Cosby has said his 2004 sexual encounter with Constand was consensual.

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