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Bill Cosby's Blind? That's What Judge at His Sex Trial Says

Image: Bill Cosby's Blind? That's What Judge at His Sex Trial Says

Bill Cosby leaves Montgomery County Courthouse after hearing. (DOMINICK REUTER/AFP/Getty Images)

Wednesday, 07 Sep 2016 08:12 AM

Bill Cosby is blind and might need special accommodations at his upcoming sexual assault trial in Pennsylvania, said the judge overseeing the case which could see as many as 14 accusers testify against the comedian.

Judge Steven O'Neill says Cosby's lawyer disclosed the 79-year-old comedian's condition in a letter before a pretrial conference on Tuesday, reported The Associated Press.

Cosby was arrested Dec. 30 on charges he drugged and assaulted a woman at his suburban Philadelphia home in 2004. Prosecutors reopened the case amid new evidence and arrested Cosby days before the 12-year statute of limitations expired.

Cosby looked noticeably healthier as he walked into court for the pretrial conference. He clutched an aide's arm but didn't have the wooden cane he's used at past hearings.

Cosby's eyes appeared less milky and he seemed more engaged and animated as he spoke with his legal team.

Cosby's lawyers are asking that prosecutors not be allowed to use a telephone conversation recorded by his accuser's mother and other evidence at his trial.

The judge indicated he wants a trial to start before June, but lead defense lawyer Brian McMonagle said at a hearing Tuesday that he has other trials booked until June.

O'Neill said McMonagle might have to review his schedule and look for an earlier date.

Prosecutors hope to paint the comedian as a serial offender by having other accusers testify.

The criminal case against the 79-year-old actor involves a single 2004 encounter at his home with former Temple University employee Andrea Constand. But prosecutors can introduce similar uncharged acts to try to show a pattern of behavior.

Prosecutors at the hearing on Tuesday said they have reviewed accusations from about 50 women and believe 13 should be allowed to testify.

The defense is expected to vehemently oppose such testimony.

Constand told police that Cosby drugged and molested her. Legal experts say a judge might allow similar Cosby allegations in which drugs or alcohol were involved.

Cosby has parted ways with a Washington lawyer who has handled press appearances. Veteran Philadelphia criminal lawyer Brian McMonagle is expected to lead the courtroom fight.

Cosby also has hired a new Los Angeles firm to defend several defamation cases filed by accusers around the country.

© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 
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Bill Cosby is blind and might need special accommodations at his upcoming sexual assault trial in Pennsylvania, said the judge overseeing the case which could see as many as 14 accusers testify against the comedian.
bill cosby, blind, sex, trial, judge
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2016-12-07
Wednesday, 07 Sep 2016 08:12 AM
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