Actor and comedian, Bill Cosby, will be headed back to court next year in what will mark his second sexual assault trial. Originally slated for November, the new trial was postponed until next year to give time for his new defense team to prepare. Cosby’s first trial ended in a hung jury in June, after 52 hours of deliberation.
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However, this time around Cosby has hired a self-proclaimed “unconventional” lawyer to the stars. Los Angeles based attorney, Thomas Mesereau, has represented several high-profile celebrities including Robert Blake and Michael Jackson. Blake was acquitted of murdering his wife in 2001 and Jackson was acquitted of child sexual abuse in 2005.
On his website, Mesereau describes himself as an “unconventional, unpredictable trial lawyer.” He told NBC News, however, that he was not commenting on the Cosby case beyond confirming that he was joining the defense. While Mesereau doesn’t know Cosby personally, he believes there are striking similarities between his case and Jackson’s.
“The worldwide media had already condemned him and basically discarded him as trash,” Mesereau said of Jackson. “I see something similar happening now.” Mesereau is also alarmed by growing opposition to Cosby. “I don’t know the evidence. I don’t know the accuser. I just think he has the right to a fair trial. And having been through what I went through with Michael Jackson, I’m a little alarmed by the groundswell of opposition [to Cosby],” he added.
Mesereau was a close friend of Jackson’s during a time when nobody wanted to stand by him. Charged with 14 counts of child molestation, the pop star was berated by media and celebrities. However, Mesereau believed in his innocence. Jackson’s trial lasted from January to June of 2005 and ended with his being acquitted on all 14 counts.
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“I believed, and still do, that he was completely innocent of these false charges,” Mesereau said. Mesereau cited Jackson’s prosecution as a “travesty of justice” and one of the most “mean-spirited attacks on an innocent person in legal history.”
He attended Jackson’s funeral and internment in 2009.
With regards to the Cosby case, the celebrity to the stars has called it both “weak” and a “waste of taxpayer money.” The now 80-year old Cosby has maintained he is innocent of any wrongdoing. His second trial will begin in Pennsylvania sometime between March 15th and April 1st, 2018.