Bill Cosby and his team of high-powered lawyers are seeking a change of venue in his fast-approaching sexual assault case.
Citing the media-circus the legendary comedian being formally charged has already produced, reps for him recently told Montgomery County Judge Steven O’Neil there is no way their client can receive a fair trial if the proceedings are held there in June as they are now slated to be.
“It is difficult to conceive of a case in recent history that has generated more widespread, inflammatory and sustained media coverage than the current case against Mr. Cosby,” attorneys argued in the motion formally submitted to the court.
In particular, reps cited a recent New York Daily News cover story where the headline blared “America’s Rapist” as a prime example of how the deck has largely already been stacked against their client.
During the height of his popularity and his longtime run on the Cosby Show as Cliff Huxtable, Cosby was widely revered as “America’s Dad.”
“Closer to home, prospective jurors in Montgomery County have been uniquely subjected to extensive, sustained, and pervasive negative coverage of the case,” the motion continued.
While not making any mention of where they would like to see the trial moved, Cosby’s team requested a location “from a population of sufficient size such that the Court can be assured that the media coverage was not so extensive.”
Montgomery County prosecutors slapped Cosby with three counts of felony aggravated indecent assault last year stemming from a decade-old incident where former Temple University employee Andrea Constand alleges he drugged and assaulted her at his home
The 79-year-old Cosby has pleaded not guilty, previously insisting that he only gave Constand Benadryl for “stress and tension” and anything that subsequently happened between them was consensual.
In all, more than 50 women have now accused Cosby of engaging in similar behavior with them over a period that spans several decades. Many of them posed for a recent New York magazine cover story where they recounted the horrors they allege Cosby inflicted on them.
In their motion, Cosby’s attorneys also argue that “interest of the mainstream media” has prompted numerous other women to come forward with baseless claims against their client.
Prosecutors have indicated they may “not oppose a change of venue or venire.” Venire refers to bringing in a jury from another county.
The judge now has the option of ruling on the motion or having a hearing on the matter. The trial is scheduled to commence sometime in June.
Several of the women that have come forward to formally accuse Cosby are represented by famed civil rights attorney Gloria Allred, who has essentially accused Cosby and his reps of trying to bully his victims.
“If you don’t have the facts then you attack either the victim or other lawyers,” she said.
Meanwhile, reps for Cosby recently dismissed Allred at a pretrial hearing as an “amazing marketer” whose “fingerprints are all over” the cases.
Attorney Angela Agrusa went even further when she stood before the judge, asserting that Allred is “in the job of filing suits to make money” and in this particular instance wrote the scripts of all her clients.
“The format is always the same,” Argusa said of Allred. “What looks like evidence is strewn and statements are read. But each of those statements that she prepares has the exact same formula.
District Attorney Kevin Steele has argued that at least some of Allred’s clients should be allowed to testify against Cosby during his upcoming trial because they all tell a similar story about a pattern of how Cosby drugged and assaulted them.
[Featured Image by Matt Rourke/Getty Images]