On Tuesday, Bill Cosby attended a pretrial hearing regarding his sexual assault case. While passing by reporters on the way into a Philadelphia court house, he made an odd attempt to diffuse tension by muttering, “Don’t tase me, bro.” Cosby was in a joking mood, but lawyers clashed over the use of accuser’s names in the trial, which is set to begin next June.
The Associated Press reports how Montgomery County Judge Steven O’Neill admonished attorneys for beginning a shouting match in the courtroom. The defense team had insisted upon publicly noting the names of the women who accused Cosby of sexual assault. To date, the list of accusers was included during the pretrial discovery process but was not part of the public record. District Attorney Kevin Steele said the defense may use the list to discourage the women against speaking. Meanwhile, prosecutors want to call 13 accusers to the stand, which could prove Cosby’s alleged habit of drugging women.
Judge O’Neill ruled that Cosby’s defense could identify only 11 of the women, as two have kept a low profile and will not be named. The defense team would like to remove these all of these women completely from the case, which dates back ten years (to when Temple University employee Andrea Constand’s filed a sexual assault claim against him). At the time, prosecutors declined to file charges against Cosby.