Belfast Telegraph

Jurors in Bill Cosby sex assault trial will hear drug testimony

The hearing took place two days after Cosby's daughter insisted her father is no "rapist".

A Pennsylvania judge will allow jurors in Bill Cosby's sexual assault trial to listen to a damning deposition, in which he acknowledged giving sedatives to women he wanted to sleep with.

The disgraced comedian, 79, is heading to trial in June (17) to fight accusations of felony indecent assault, amid allegations he drugged and sexually assaulted former Temple University employee Andrea Constand at his Pennsylvania home in 2004.

Cosby, who was not charged with any criminal counts at the time, claimed the sex was consensual, although he settled a civil suit with Constand out of court in 2006.

However, the criminal case was reopened in 2015, after his previously-sealed testimony from the civil proceedings was made public. In the deposition, Cosby confessed to previously obtaining Quaaludes to hand out to females he wanted to have sex with, although he insisted he no longer had them when he is alleged to have attacked Constand.

The explosive evidence was enough to prompt prosecutors to take action and file a warrant for his arrest.

His attorneys wanted to keep the testimony out of the upcoming trial, but on Friday (28Apr17), Montgomery County Judge Steven O'Neill declared the deposition can be played for jurors.

However, he ruled information about the civil suit settled with Constand will be banned from the trial, which is scheduled to begin on 5 June (17).

Jury selection will kick off on 22 May (17).

Friday's pre-trial hearing took place two days after Cosby's daughter Evin spoke out in her father's defence, maintaining the ageing funnyman is not the "rapist" he has been made out to be.

More than 50 women have come forward in recent years with historical sex assault allegations against the veteran actor. His representatives have repeatedly denied the accusations.

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