Judge Steven O’Neill has given Bill Cosby’s defense team two major wins pretrial. On Tuesday, the judge in his retrial ruled that they can call a witness to the stand who claims his accuser, Andrea Constand, talked about framing a celebrity before she went to the police.
Constand has accused Cosby of drugging and sexually assaulting her at his home in 2004. She is among several dozen women who have made similar claims, but only her case can go to trial because of statute of limitations laws. Cosby denies all wrongdoing. Constand initially approached police in 2005.
- Marguerite Jackson (the woman slated to testify about Constand’s alleged framing comments) was blocked from taking the witness stand in the first trial, which ended in a hung jury. O’Neill included one caveat in his ruling, adding that he would revisit the decision if necessary after hearing Constand’s testimony.
- O’Neill also ruled that jurors can hear how much he paid her in a civil settlement in 2006.
- O’Neill made the ruling on Tuesday ahead of the second day of jury selection. Just one juror was picked on Monday. The young man who was picked said he did not know anything about the case, whereas nearly everyone else in the initial pool of 120 said they were aware of the charges against him, and many of them said they’d already formed an opinion about Cosby’s guilt or innocence.