The pending Bill Cosby trial has been under a rather dramatic umbrella, with Cosby's defense team recently admitting they wrongly accused prosecutors of hiding evidence. Now, Cosby's attorneys have suffered another loss as their request to dismiss the case has been denied by Judge O'Neil, according to the New York Times. O'Neil also presided over last year's initial trial, which resulted in a hung jury.
Cosby's lawyers claim that the comedian's accuser Andrea Constand has testimony that is contradictory to her travel records regarding the alleged sexual assault's timeline. The defense team argues that the travel records don't match Constand's claim that the alleged encounter happened in January 2004.
“We have got the entire month of January covered here,” said one of Cosby's attorneys, Becky S. James. “There are undisputed records here that this could not have occurred in January 2004.”
As such, Cosby's lawyers will argue that the encounter happened at the end of December 2003, which will be important since Pennsylvania has a 12-year statute of limitations. Cosby's legal team also presented call records which they believe reflect evidence holes.
“We see a lot of problems and a lot of holes in their evidence,” said Montgomery County deputy district attorney Robert Fallin.
Still, Judge O'Neil rejected the defense team's motion to dismiss, noting, “This is a matter that will be determined by the jury ultimately.”
O'Neil is also hearing other aspects during the pre-trial hearing on Tuesday, including witness testimony from 19 other women as well as a civil suit brought by Constand in 2005. O'Neil will be deciding on whether those instances will be heard by the jury.
Cosby's lawyers tried to block those 19 women from appearing in court, arguing that the #MeToo and Time's Up movements will make it impossible for the comedian to have a fair trial, The Inquirer reports.
"With the current atmosphere, it’s going to be hard enough to get the jury to focus on the trial at hand,” one of Cosby's lawyers said “But bringing in additional accusers – especially 19 of them – in that environment would be highly prejudicial.”
O'Neil has yet to rule on whether or not those 19 women will get to tell their stories in court.
Cosby's retrial is set for April.