Published: Wed, April 05, 2017
USA | By Angel Wallace

Disco biscuits, Spanish fly: Cosby lawyers to argue evidence

Disco biscuits, Spanish fly: Cosby lawyers to argue evidence

Comedian Bill Cosby was due back in a Pennsylvania courtroom on Monday where his lawyers and state prosecutors will wrangle over what evidence can be admitted at his trial in June on criminal charges of sexual assault.

Judge Steven T. O'Neill did not give any indication of when he would rule but continually brought up the need for this case to go to trial, which is scheduled for June 5.

Montgomery County prosecutors say the existing selection process is enough to weed out bias, and that Cosby's request to expand vetting - and to receive extra opportunities to exclude potential jurors without giving a reason, called a peremptory challenge - is unlawful. If convicted of the charges at trial, the former sitcom star faces a possible maximum sentence of 15 to 30 years in prison.

Later Monday, the judge was expected to weigh potentially crucial questions on whether jurors can hear Cosby's decade-old testimony about quaaludes, his sexual history and his payments to women who have accused him of sexual misconduct.

When jury selection does commence, Cosby and his security entourage, county prosecutors, defense lawyers, O'Neill and likely a contingent of the judge's staff will travel to Pittsburgh to select the panel.

Kinky comic Bill Cosby's buffet of libido-boosting drugs is a key sticking point in the disgraced funnyman's sex assault trial.

Cosby's defense team wants the jury pool pre-screened through a written questionnaire on their background, media habits and feelings about Cosby.

Earlier this year, O'Neill agreed to choose jurors from Allegheny County after Cosby's lawyers said pretrial publicity made it unlikely they could find a fair jury in Montgomery County.

Judge O'Neill ruled the standard 16-question form would suffice.

Cosby, whose career and wholesome image were shattered by the accusations, has said every sexual encounter was consensual.

Cosby gave the deposition testimony during the course of the accuser's civil suit, which he later settled.

However, Cosby's defence lawyers say the remarks on Spanish fly were clearly a joke.

Prosecutors also contend that in a1991 interview on "The Larry King Show", Cosby extolled Spanish fly as a drug that "all boys from age 11 on up to death" will be searching for. They also want to introduce a boyhood story from Cosby's 1991 book "Childhood" about the supposed aphrodisiac Spanish fly.

The 79-year-old Cosby is accused of drugging and molesting a woman at his home in 2004.

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