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Bill Cosby hires Michael Jackson's lawyer

21 Août 2017

Bill Cosby has signed up a new team of lawyers to defend him at his second trial on sexual-assault charges, including Thomas Mesereau, the flamboyantly mop-haired lawyer who famously defended accused celebrities Michael Jackson, Mike Tyson, Robert Blake and Marion "Suge" Knight.

Bill Cosby arrives at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pennsylvania, on June 15.

In addition to Mesereau, Cosby's new legal team includes Samuel W. Silver, of Philadelphia, and Kathleen Bliss of Las Vegas, Nevada.

Cosby is due in court on Tuesday for a hearing on changes to his legal representation after both his lawyers from the original trial, Brian McMonagle and Angela Agrusa, withdrew. On his website, he describes himself as an "unconventional, unpredictable trial lawyer".

He is due to be retried beginning on November 6 on charges of sexually assaulting Andrea Constand, a former administrator at his alma mater Temple University, at his Philadelphia-area home in 2004.

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Mesereau is best known for representing the late Michael Jackson at a 2004 California trial at which Jackson was acquitted of all child molestation charges.

Cosby has admitted having sexual contact with Constand but claimed the contact was consensual.

Silver represented former Congressman Chaka Fattah in his federal corruption trial and Graham Spanier, the former Pennsylvania State University president convicted on charges stemming from the Jerry Sandusky child sex case. Bliss has prosecuted violent street gangs and white supremacist groups and as a defense lawyer obtained acquittals in armed bank robbery and assault cases, according to a biography included on her web site.

Cosby, who is free on $100,000 cash bail, is charged with three counts of aggravated indecent assault. At one point during the trial, McMonagle stood beside Cosby and suggested to jurors that while Cosby may have been an unfaithful husband, that didn't make him a criminal.

As the first trial earlier this summer made clear, Constand and the Montgomery County District Attorney's office see that differently. When county officials completed their calculation of the Cosby trial expenses last month, they indicated the cost of the trial reached $219,100.

Bill Cosby hires Michael Jackson's lawyer