NORRISTOWN — Bill Cosby’s defense attorney today said most of the women who have accused the comedian of sexual assault are jumping on the “bandwagon” and “have no business” testifying in his criminal trial.
“The allegations here,” defense attorney Brian McMonagle said, “cannot be defended.”
Cosby’s defense team spent hours today reviewing 13 accusations brought forth by prosecutors in Montgomery County, attempting to show that they differed in location, time frame and nature compared to Andrea Constand, the woman at the center of criminal charges Cosby is facing. His trial is scheduled for June.
Constand, a former Temple University employee, told police in 2005 that Cosby sexually assaulted her in 2004 at his home in Cheltenham. He now faces charges of aggravated indecent assault that were filed in December 2015.
Though charges related to Constand are the only ones Cosby is facing, dozens of other women have come forward saying Cosby sexually assaulted them. Prosecutors have identified 13 who they want to be allowed to testify during the comedian’s trial.
In Pennsylvania, what’s called “past bad acts” can’t typically be brought up in court. Instead, prosecutors have to show that those 13 women’s stories would demonstrate a specific pattern of behavior or a “signature” crime.
Prosecutors say the women’s stories “are so related that the proof of one tends to establish the proof of another.” Each of them claim Cosby cultivated a relationship with them, then drugged and sexually assaulted them in some way.
But Cosby’s defense team says demonstrating the same “class of crime” isn’t enough, but rather that prosecutors must show that the cases are so alike and related that they couldn’t have been perpetrated by anyone else.
So they went through each accuser in painstaking detail and presented a chart that compares the incident with Constand to the accusations of the others, showing that many of them don’t match when it comes to the types of locations and what sexual contact occurred.
They said most of the accusers couldn’t pinpoint the exact date of the alleged offense, making it impossible for defense attorneys to work to present an alibi.
But they also used the podium to take more subtle shots at the accusers. Both Cosby’s Philadelphia defense attorney Brian McMonagle and his co-counsel, the Los Angeles-based Angela Agrusa, on several occasions pointed out that women accusing Cosby were represented by Gloria Allred, a well-known women’s rights attorney who was in court today.
McMonagle earlier in the day implied accusers were engaging in “bandwagon allegations” to fulfill Allred’s “agenda of bringing down an American icon.”
For one woman, Agrusa pointed out that the accuser “elected to bring attention to herself after watching women on television.” For another, she said “she had turned talking about Mr. Cosby into a career.” McMonagle pointed out that another accuser last year went to CNN and Dr. Phil before police.
Arguments will resume momentarily.