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Judge in Cosby Case Sets Retrial for Nov. 6


Bill Cosby arriving last month at his sexual assault trial at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pa.

Tom Mihalek/Reuters

The judge in the sexual assault case of Bill Cosby said in a court order on Thursday that he was scheduling the retrial for Nov. 6 in Pennsylvania.

Last month the judge, Steven T. O’Neill, of the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas, declared a mistrial after jurors reported that they were hopelessly deadlocked after six days of deliberations. Prosecutors immediately announced that they wanted to retry Mr. Cosby, and Andrea Constand — whose accusation that Mr. Cosby had sexually assaulted her is the heart of the case — agreed to take the stand again in Norristown, Pa., where the first trial took place.

The new date is not fixed in stone: If the first trial was any indication, the coming months will be filled with motions and countermotions as Mr. Cosby’s lawyers and the prosecution vie for an edge. That jockeying could affect the timing.

In his order, Judge O’Neill said that any pretrial hearings would be scheduled by separate order.

A Pennsylvania courts spokesman, James Koval, said the retrial must begin within one year of the declaration of the mistrial, June 17. Judge O’Neill would preside over the retrial, Mr. Koval said.

Neither the prosecution nor Mr. Cosby’s spokesman offered any reaction to the new date. The Montgomery County district attorney, Kevin R. Steele, said after the first trial that he would evaluate and review the case.

Prosecutors need to examine, among other things, whether they can persuade Judge O’Neill to allow them to introduce testimony from other women who say Mr. Cosby assaulted them. The prosecution had tried to introduce 13 other accusers as evidence of a pattern of sexual assault, but Judge O’Neill allowed only one other woman to testify besides Ms. Constand. Prosecutors say Mr. Cosby drugged and sexually assaulted Ms. Constand at his home outside Philadelphia in 2004.

During the first trial, the other witness, Kelly Johnson, seemed hesitant on the witness stand, complicating the prosecution’s case, experts said.

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