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NORRISTOWN, Pa. (CN) — An attorney for Bill Cosby appeared livid on Wednesday as prosecutors described the allegations of 13 women who missed the statute of limitations to accuse the comedian of having drugged and assaulted them.
"How do you defend yourself from,” asked Brian McMonagle, pausing to read from the testimony, "sometime in 1975 or maybe 1976 in a place that doesn't exist anymore.”
"How is this a fair trial when these woman aren't even sure,” McMonagle shouted. “This is why we have statute of limitations, Judge. These claims were from 40 years ago!”
The parties appeared in the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas this morning for the second day of a hearing on the prosecution’s witness list. District Attorney Kevin Steele argued that Cosby's "prior bad acts" should be admissible in the upcoming trial.
When Steele interrupted the defense’s argument, Judge Steven O'Neill repeated his warning from Tuesday for the attorneys to control their outbursts.
"You both have time for rebuttal,” O’Neill said. “Let him speak, Mr. Steele.”
McMonagle called the claims "absolutely absurd,” saying none of Cosby’s accusers have specific dates, times or locations – depriving Cosby of the possibility to defend himself or provide a credible alibi.
Prosecutors want the women to testify when Cosby stands trial in 2017 on charges that he drugged and assaulting former Temple University employee Andrea Constand in 2005 at his home in Cheltenham, Pa.
Constand had gone to police about her alleged assault in 2005, but the district attorney in Montgomery County at the time opted not to prosecute.
It was Steele who brought the charges last year when dozens of women had come forward with similar allegations, some dating back to the 1970s.
Shortly before Cosby’s arrest, a federal judge unsealed civil deposition testimony in which the star behind the wholesome character Dr. Huxtable admitted to giving women quaaludes before having sex with them.
At Wednesday’s pretrial hearing, Cosby sat stoic, occasionally squinting in confusion while the DA attacked his image.
"He was married at the time,” Steele said of Cosby. “He acted as a mentor and exploited that trust with these women. ... He strikes when he has the setting, and these woman are so intoxicated that he can conceal what he was doing.”
With every woman, Steele continued, Cosby had "means, setting and opportunity.”
"Andrea and the 13 prior women are so related we cannot address one without addressing the other... this was a scheme of sexual assault," Steele said.
"This is a lifetime of sexual assault on young women," Steele added.
Noting that Steele won his office last year in part from his pledge to prosecute Cosby, McMonagle countered that politics is driving the DA to credit these "unspeakable" claims. "Don't take your eyes off the ball," McMonagle urged Judge O'Neill continually, saying Constand’s case is "stale" and leaden with "bandwagon" claims.
Continuing with the theme of vision, McMonagle made a pointed reference to his 79-year-old client’s health.
"Mr. Cosby can't see anymore, but if he could he would see all these people are providing him the ability to obtain justice, and you,” McMonagle said, pausing to look at the judge, “are giving him a fair trial.”