Bill Cosby likely won’t speak publicly before sexual assault retrial, lawyer says

Amid rumors that disgraced comedian wanted to hold series of town halls, attorney said she cant imagine his legal team would let him perform or speak

Bill Cosbys town hall tour is unlikely to happen before his retrial on sex assault charges in Pennsylvania, one of his lawyers said Tuesday.

After a hearing to set a trial date in a sex abuse lawsuit in Los Angeles superior court against the comedian, attorney Angela Agrusa said that Cosby would not be discussing sexual assault and she cant imagine his legal team would let him perform or speak publicly as representatives said he planned to do this summer.

He doesnt take lightly these criminal charges, Agrusa said. He would never do anything that undermined the importance of this issue. I dont see him speaking publicly like that.

Talk of the forums after a jury deadlocked in Pennsylvania in the criminal case sparked a backlash from groups that advocate for sexual assault victims and educate about sexual abuse.

Spokespeople for Cosby and his wife had said the forums at least one planned in Birmingham, Alabama, next month when Cosby turns 80 were aimed at educating young people how to stay out of trouble and be aware of changing sexual assault laws.

After those plans were criticized, though, a spokeswoman said the meetings were never intended to be about sexual assault but an effort to restore Cosbys legacy.

Cosby himself took issue Tuesday with the notion of a sexual assault tour, dismissing it as propaganda, though he left open the possibility of some future event.

The current propaganda that I am going to conduct a sexual assault tour is false, Cosby said in a statement. Any further information about public plans will be given at the appropriate time.

The comedian and actor once known as Americas Dad for his TV role on The Cosby Show as paternal Dr Cliff Huxtable has had his reputation tarnished with accusations of sexual abuse by nearly 60 women.

One of those accusers is Judy Huth, who accused the comedian of forcing her to perform a sex act on him in a bedroom at the Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles around 1974 when she was 15.

Judge Craig Karlan tentatively scheduled that trial for 30 July next year with the expectation it would occur after a retrial in Pennsylvania.

Prosecutors in Pennsylvania said they plan to retry Cosby, possibly this fall.

A mistrial was declared 17 June on charges Cosby drugged and molested Andrea Constand, the former Temple University director of womens basketball, at his suburban Philadelphia home in 2004. Cosby said the encounter was consensual.

Cosbys legal team declared victory after the mistrial and then his representatives announced the town hall tour.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jun/27/bill-cosby-sexual-assault-retrial-town-hall-tour

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