Actor Bill Cosby arrives at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pennsylvania, for the second day of his sexual assault trial on June 6, 2017. (Pool photo)
Actor Bill Cosby arrives at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pennsylvania, for the second day of his sexual assault trial on June 6, 2017. (Pool photo)

Montgomery County Judge Steven T. O’Neill has set April 2 as the date to begin the retrial of the sexual assault case against comedian Bill Cosby.

The judge notified attorneys and prosecutors Friday that jury selection could start at an earlier date and directed all parties to notify any witnesses they plan to call and to submit any proposed jury selection questions and instructions by March 15.

In August, Cosby unveiled his new defense team led by famed attorney Tom Mesereau, who has famously defended pop superstar Michael Jackson, rap mogul Suge Knight and actor Robert Blake.

“I think you can say we went from a Mercedes-Benz to a Rolls-Royce,” Cosby spokesman Andrew Wyatt said of Mesereau, who arguably does more pro bono work for underserved individuals than any other celebrity lawyer.

Mesereau is joined by Nevada attorney Kathleen Bliss and Philadelphia lawyer Sam Silver, who represented former U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah on corruption charges in 2016.

The new team replaced Brian McMonagle and Angela Agrusa, both of whom represented Cosby during the first trial in June.

Cosby, 80, faces three counts of aggravated sexual assault that stemmed from an encounter with former Temple University employee Andrea Constand more than a dozen years ago. He has maintained his innocence and Wyatt has said the comedian “is sleeping pretty good these days,” with the hiring of Mesereau and the new team.

Cosby went to trial in June, but the jury, brought in from Allegheny County, was deadlocked after 52 hours of deliberations, leading to O’Neill declaring a mistrial. Immediately, prosecutor Kevin Steele said he would retry the case.

Stacy M. Brown is a senior writer for The Washington Informer and the senior national correspondent for the Black Press of America. Stacy has more than 25 years of journalism experience and has authored...

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