Judge Sets June 5, 2017, as Trial Date for Cosby
A Pennsylvania judge has set June 5, 2017, as the date for the sexual assault trial of American comedy icon Bill Cosby. Cosby and his lawyers appeared at a hearing Tuesday in another effort to avoid bringing the criminal case to trial, or having it moved out of the Philadelphia suburbs, where the alleged crimes took place. Cosby is accused of sexually assaulting a college basketball team manager in his home in 2004. Prosecutors at Tuesday's hearing say they want at least 13 other women who have accused Cosby of attacking them to testify. If convicted, Cosby could face 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. He already pleaded not guilty at an earlier hearing and is free on $1 million bail. Cosby is accused of sexually assaulting former Temple University basketball team manager Andrea Constand in his Philadelphia home, where she had visited the comic seeking career advice. According to a police report, Cosby gave her pills and wine that made her legs feel "like jelly," leaving her dizzy, nauseous and unable to fight back when Cosby allegedly fondled her. Cosby told police he gave her Benadryl — an over-the-counter medicine used for allergies and insomnia — and insisted that any sexual relations with Constand were consensual. Constand settled a civil suit against Cosby in 2006. More than 50 women allege that Cosby sexually assaulted them in incidents dating back to the 1960s when he emerged as a major comedy star. The Constand case is the only one set for a criminal trial. Cosby is known for his stand-up comedy routines focusing on his Philadelphia childhood and growing up in a middle class African-American family. He played a genial and wise doctor in his 1980’s television comedy series “The Cosby Show.” It was the country's most popular television series for several years, but is scarcely rebroadcast anymore.