Embattled comedian Bill Cosby’s new trial on charges that he sexually assaulted a woman more than a decade ago is scheduled for April 2018.
Originally scheduled for November, Cosby and his lawyers asked the Pennsylvania court to push it back in order to give the new legal team more time to prepare. Montgomery County Judge Steven O’Neill set the trial on Friday to April 2, 2018.
Cosby, who turned 80 last month, is accused of drugging and sexually assaulting a woman in his Pennsylvania home in 2004. A judge declared a mistrial on June 17 after jurors failed to reach a verdict when Cosby first went to court for the charges.
Here’s what to know about the case.
Cosby is accused of giving Andrea Constand, a former Temple University employee, pills that left her incapacitated before he performed sexual acts on her without her consent.
Constand and Cosby met while she was the director for the women’s basketball team at Temple, Cosby’s Philadelphia alma mater. The pair “developed what [Constand] believed to be a sincere friendship,” and Constand eventually looked to the older comedian as a mentor, according to court documents.
Constand alleged that Cosby made sexual advances toward her multiple times, and she turned him down. But on one specific visit to his home in January or February 2004, Cosby gave her “three blue pills” that blurred her vision and made her feel as though she was “in and out” [of consciousness] according to court documents.
Cosby then engaged in sexual acts with Constand, while she couldn’t move or speak, that she did not consent to, she said.
While more than 60 women have come forward over the years to accuse the man once affectionately known as “America’s Dad” of sexual misconduct, Constand’s allegations are the only ones that brought a criminal case against Cosby. Many of the other women’s accusations fall outside of the statute of limitations.
Cosby and his lawyers have maintained that any interaction between the pair was consensual.
Despite some back-and-forth, Cosby didn’t end up testifying at his first trial.
Constand sued Cosby in 2005, and the pair settled for an undisclosed amount the next year. In the deposition for that case, Cosby admitted to buying Quaaludes and giving women drugs and alcohol before sex – but he said every interaction was consensual, including with Constand.
During the trial, Cosby’s defense sought to discredit Constand – pointing to inconsistencies in her story. The defense also noted that Cosby and Constand have spoken over the phone dozens of times since the alleged incident, with Constand initiating the majority of those calls.
Cosby’s trial ended in a mistrial on June 17 after the jury deliberated for more than 52 hours over six days and still couldn’t reach a verdict.
Prosecutors immediately promised to retry Cosby, who is free from prison on a $1 million bail.
“We will reevaluate and review our case and will retry it and move as soon as possible,” Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele said after the decision.
Jurors from the trial are under strict guidance from Judge Steven T. O’Neill about what they can reveal about the case so as not to sway the jurors in the upcoming retrial, according to the The New York Times.
Jurors cannot disclose “arguments or comments made, or votes cast.”
Cosby’s new legal team, which includes Thomas Mesereau, the attorney who infamously defended Michael Jackson when he was charged with child molestation, asked for the retrial to be pushed back in order for them to prepare.
O’Neill agreed to the delay and said he expected the retrial to begin before next summer.
Kathleen Bliss and Sam Silver are also part of Cosby’s legal team, Cosby tweeted Monday.
Tuesday’s pretrial inside the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pa., was expected to cover Cosby’s change in legal representation, where the retrial will be held and other issues pertaining to the upcoming retrial.
Fox News’ Tamara Gitt and the Associated Press contributed to this report.