March 5 (UPI) — Bill Cosby will once again go to trial to face rape accusations after attorneys from both sides attacked each other’s credibility in a Montgomery County, Penn. court hearing on Monday.
Cosby’s team, led by star defense attorney Thomas Mesereau, whose former clients include Michael Jackson, Mike Tyson and Robert Blake, said the case against Cosby should be thrown out because prosecutors allegedly destroyed evidence and encouraged accuser Andrea Constand to lie under oath.
At issue was defense witness Marguerite Jackson, a former co-worker of Constand. In a statement, Jackson said Constand told her she could extort a celebrity by accusing them of drugging and sexually abusing her, NBC News reported.
The prosecutors’ investigators interviewed Jackson and were successful in getting her barred from testifying during Cosby’s first trial. But Cosby’s defense team accused them of destroying interview notes.
“They went and interviewed her, so they knew what she said completely repudiated Andrea Constand’s statement accusing Mr. Cosby of misconduct,” defense lawyer Kathleen Bliss said.
In response to the defense team’s accusations, Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin R. Steele said the defense attorneys were lying and that they should be thrown off the case due to their “incompetent” and “unethical” methods, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
After hearing both legal teams question each other’s credibility, Montgomery County Judge Steven T. O’Neil was unconvinced by either argument and decided to let the case proceed with the attorneys on the docket.
The trial will begin on April 2.
Although dozens of women have publicly accused Cosby of sexual abuse, Constand is the only one who has a criminal case against him. That case ended in a mistrial last June.