With more than two months until jury selection starts in his retrial for the alleged 2004 rape of Andrea Constand, Bill Cosby intends to take to the stage tonight for a live show.
“Proclaiming to honor his fans with a historic performance” the much-accused actor has set a “special comedy concert” in Philadelphia on Monday. Scheduled to run from 5:30 – 9 PM ET on Monday, the ticketed show will take place with the Tony Williams Jazz Quartet at the Lorosa Jazz Club in the City of Brotherly Love, according to Cosby’s reps.
This comes after the usually now reclusive and self proclaimed legally blind Cosby put up photos of himself online out and about around Philly and playing to the locals on Sunday in wearing gear of the now Super Bowl bound Eagles. The Eagles beat the the Minnesota Vikings 38-7 in the NFC Championship Game yesterday to face the New England Patriots on February 4.
Cosby’s reemergence also comes as a Norristown, PA judge has determined that March 29 will be the beginning of the effort to find a jury for the currently April 2 starting retrial of the 80-year old actor. “Proposed voir dire shall be submitted to the chambers of the undersigned no later than March 2, 2018,” wrote Judge Steven O’Neill on January 19 (read it here). Judge O’Neill presided over the sometimes raucous first trial, which started on June 5, 2017.
Unlike the first trial, which ended in a mistrial on June 17, the Montgomery County D.A. office and Cosby’s latest defense team have agreed that the jurors will be picked from local residents and not shipped in from the likes of Pittsburgh.
Though we’ve heard unfulfilled and then officially denied talk of a tour of sorts before from the actor after things went into legal purgatory last summer, sources close to Cosby tell Deadline that they been getting “hundreds of requests” for him to talk to the road again.
If found guilty in the retrial, Cosby faces more than 10 years in jail for the three felony charges of second-degree aggravated indecent assault. Intent on pursuing the new trial against the actor with as few delays as possible, Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele’s office has indicated that they are not going to change the charges.
Accused by more than 60 women of sexually assaulting and drugging them over the decades, Cosby faces not only the criminal case in Pennsylvania, which has a much longer statute of limitations on sex crimes than most jurisdictions, but several other civil cases around the nation.
Cosby was arraigned December 30, 2015 in the criminal case and released on $1 million bail without entering a plea at the time. Despite admitting in depositions more than a decade ago to giving Constand Benadryl pills on the night of the alleged assault in his Philadelphia-area mansion, Cosby always has insisted that the encounter was consensual.
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