This morning at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, PA, Cosby’s attorneys called Debbie Meister, Cosby’s personal assistant, and Kim Harjo, a former public relations assistant who worked with Cosby. Both went through travel records from late December 2003 and January 2004.
Constand, after originally telling police she believed the incident occurred in March 2004, has testified that Cosby assaulted her in January of that year at his home in Cheltenham, PA. The exact date of the incident is unknown, but she and authorities have estimated it to be sometime before late January, when a relative visited her from Canada.
Bill Cosby Trial Could Be Sent To Jury Early Next Week
The time frame is significant because the District Attorney’s Office charged Cosby on December 30, 2015. The statute of limitations for sexual assault crimes in Pennsylvania is 12 years.
Cosby attorney Becky James introduced flight records for January, but James didn’t go through specific dates. Travel itinerary information introduced with Harjo revealed Cosby to have been in other cities on December 23 and December 31, 2003, and January 12, 2004. The records did not show Cosby being away from Cheltenham for an extended period in January.
Meanwhile, Judge Steven O’Neill blocked the defense from asking a third witness about Constand’s drug use. In an argument made in the absence of the jury, Cosby attorney Tom Mesereau said the witness, Robert Russell, knew Constand used marijuana and mushrooms when they were friends in 2000 and 2001 and once brought drugs over the border.
Mesereau wanted to bring up her alleged drug use to counter the image the prosecution portrayed of her being “naive” about pills and drugs. “She came into this court presenting this false aura,” he said. “It’s basically a false characterization presented to this jury.”
O’Neill said the information wasn’t relevant given it dated to years before the alleged assault.
Russell took the stand for just a few minutes and discussed Constand’s desire to be a broadcaster, eliciting laughter from the media and visitors several times while describing a friendship that appeared questionable at best. Assistant district attorney Kristen Feden asked whether he had spoken to Constand since 2001, the time she left Canada to begin working for the Temple University women’s basketball team.
“I never even knew she went to Temple,” Russell said.
O’Neill dismissed court early this afternoon. The defense is expected to call two witnesses Monday morning. Closing statements could be done as soon as Monday afternoon.
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