Bill Cosby is officially heading back to the courtroom for the alleged 2004 sexual assault of Andrea Constand on April 2, Deadline Hollywood reports.
After Cosby's first stint in court ended in a mistrial back in June, prosecutors moved quickly to schedule a retrial, prompting Judge Steven O'Neill to pen round two in for November 6, the New York Times reports. After a series of defense team shake-ups and legal proceedings, O'Neill pushed the retrial back to sometime in the spring of 2018. Then on Friday, he issued an order officially setting the start date for April 2.
After defense attorneys Angela Agrusa and Brian McMonagle stepped away from Cosby's case in the wake of the mistrial, the disgraced actor hired a new team: Kathleen Bliss, Sam Silver, and—most notably—Tom Mesereau, who successfully defended Michael Jackson against accusations of child molestation back in 2005, NBC News reports. The retrial was pushed back in part so that the newly tapped lawyers could familiarize themselves with what went down in Cosby's case.
Cosby, now 80, is accused of drugging and molesting Constand in his suburban Philadelphia mansion back in 2004. She's just one of at least 60 women who have accused the disgraced star of sexually assaulting them, but the only one who pressed charges before the statute of limitations for her case had expired.
After a relatively short trial back in June—in which Constand testified for a grueling seven hours and Cosby declined to take the stand—the jury deliberated for 52 hours before announcing it had deadlocked, resulting in a mistrial. Cosby's aides celebrated what they saw as a win, suggesting the celebrity might go on a nationwide tour to teach kids about sexual assault and the dangers of being wrongfully accused.
Despite rumors that Cosby's legal team would seek a change of venue after the mistrial, Mesereau moved to hold the retrial in the same spot. A new local jury from Norristown, Pennsylvania—located just 30 minutes from the mansion where Cosby's assault allegedly went down—will decide the celebrity's fate once the retrial begins in April.
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