NORRISTOWN, Pa. (CN) — Bill Cosby's vision problems took focus Wednesday at a hearing on whether he should stand trial over a decade later for a sexual encounter the woman says was not consensual.
"The report looks like something from LensCrafters that anyone could get in the mall," scoffed Montgomery County Assistant District Attorney Roderick Fancher. "I don't even know what to make of that."
Fancher assured the Court of Common Pleas later that he has "nothing against LensCrafters."
Judge Steven O'Neill was quick to rein in the zealous prosecutor at the close of the two-day hearing.
"Well, who gets to call legal blindness?" O'Neill asked. "A doctor would know more than you or me."
Cosby, 79, wore a green tweed suit and was guided into the courthouse by an aid, carrying a cane in his left hand, as he has for most pretrial hearings.
In addition to claiming Cosby is legally blind and suffering from glaucoma, defense attorney Brian McMonagle says Cosby suffers memory problems in his advanced age.
O'Neill scolded both prosecution and defense for not having presented any case law involving a defendant with failing eyesight.
Fancher explained that "there is nothing saying that [Cosby's] eyesight is worse than it was in 2005, with no baseline.
"His eyesight is irrelevant under a pre-arrest standard," the prosecutor added.
Arguing otherwise, the defense says Cosby's health problems compound the prejudice of the long delay to trial. Cosby is accused of drugging and assaulting Andrea Constand at his Cheltenham, Pa., home in 2005.
Though Constand reported the encounter to police in 2005, Montgomery County had opted not to prosecute at the time, and he was not arrested until late last year.
O'Neill interrupted when Fancher tried to say that Cosby has evaded prosecution in countless other cases because of statute of limitations. "Woah, I've got to stop you there," the judge said. "Let's not state opinions, I want the facts. Give me another closing."
In the lead-up to Cosby's arrest, dozens of women came forward with allegations, dating back to the 1970s, about Cosby drugging and raping them.
Constand, the only one whose claims are not barred by the statute of limitations, reached a settlement with the comedian to drop civil claims in 2005. Though the details of that case had been under seal for roughly a decade, a federal judge determined last year that the mounting allegations justified opening the case up to public scrutiny.
Cosby was arrested shortly after the release of his 2005 deposition testimony in which he admitted to buying quaaludes to give to women before having sex with them.
Defense attorneys for the comedian say that Cosby only agreed to that deposition based on the assurances of the Montgomery County district attorney in office at the time, Bruce Castor.
There is little proof of a concrete agreement by Castor not to prosecute, however, and the man who represented Cosby in that case, Walter M. Phillips Jr., is now dead.
Defense attorney McMonagle emphasized this point in his closing arguments to the court Wednesday.