Bill Cosby's motion shut down

Bill Cosby has been dealt a blow in his sexual assault case after a judge denied his defense team's motion to dismiss the charges against him.

The Cosby Show star's first face-off with Andrea Constand over an alleged 2004 assault ended in a mistrial ruling last June, and after an initial delay due to a reshuffling of defence lawyers, a new trial start date was scheduled for 2 April in Norristown, Pennsylvania.

Prosecutors are reportedly seeking to have up to 19 other women, including model Janice Dickinson, give evidence about their alleged experiences with Cosby in a bid to establish a pattern of behaviour. Only one other alleged victim was permitted to take the stand during last year's trial.

Last month, the veteran funnyman's legal representatives challenged the motion for additional testimony, insisting they would require extra time to review the witnesses' statements if they are allowed in the retrial. They asked a judge to postpone the criminal trial and to also dismiss the charges. However on Monday, the dismissal request was denied.

Judge Steven O'Neill has yet to rule on a second motion to dismiss the charges and whether prosecutors can use evidence from Cosby's other alleged victims.

Jury selection is slated to take place on 29 March.

Cosby, 80, has faced dozens of claims of inappropriate behaviour, drugging, and/or sexual assault dating back to the 1960s. His lawyers insist many of the allegations will be "virtually impossible to defend against" due to concerns like fading memory and lack of evidence.

Meanwhile, news of Cosby's ongoing court hearing comes a week after the death of his daughter Ensa, who lost her battle with renal disease, a chronic kidney condition.

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