Cosby Wins Defense Rulings in Sex Assault Retrial

Judge Steven O’Neill will allow testimony by a woman who claims that Cosby’s accuser had talked about trying to frame a celebrity. The defense lost a potential juror who might have agreed with that strategy.

Bill Cosby’s lawyers won two rulings crucial to their strategy of casting the 80-year-old entertainer as the victim of a shakedown scheme involving false accusations of sexual assault, but they could not get the one prospective juror who seemed most willing to consider that idea, the Associated Press reports. The defense wanted a man who said he thought many of the women coming forward in the #MeToo movement were “jumping on the bandwagon,” but prosecutors used a challenge to send him home. They agreed on six other jurors, bringing the two-day total to seven as jury selection. They already have eliminated more than 200 potential jurors.

Judge Steven O’Neill on Tuesday granted the Cosby’ team’s request to call a woman who says accuser Andrea Constand talked about framing a celebrity before she lodged allegations against him in 2005. The judge also ruled that jurors can hear how much Cosby paid Constand in a 2006 civil settlement. Cosby has pleaded not guilty to charges he drugged and molested Constand at his suburban Philadelphia home in 2004. He says the encounter with the former Temple University women’s basketball administrator was consensual. O’Neill’s ruling allowing Marguerite Jackson to testify was at odds with his decision to block her from the first trial, which ended in a hung jury.