Judge moves Cosby jury selection to April 2, nixes big delay

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FILE- In this June 17, 2017, file photo, Bill Cosby exits the Montgomery County Courthouse after a mistrial was declared in Norristown, Pa. On Thursday, March 15, 2018, a judge agreed to let five additional Cosby accusers testify at his April 2 sexual assault retrial, giving prosecutors a chance to portray the man once known as “America’s Dad” as a serial predator who made a habit of drugging and molesting women. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

PHILADELPHIA — A judge is pushing back the start of Bill Cosby’s sexual assault retrial just a few days after rejecting his lawyers’ demands for a three-month delay.

Judge Steven O’Neill on Monday moved the start of jury selection to April 2 from March 29. He scheduled hearings March 29 and 30 to resolve pretrial issues.

Cosby’s lawyers were pressing for a longer delay after O’Neill ruled last week that up to five additional accusers could testify. They argued they needed more time to investigate the women’s allegations and work up a defense.

Cosby has pleaded not guilty to charges he drugged and molested Andrea Constand at his suburban Philadelphia home in 2004.

Cosby’s first trial last year ended in a hung jury.

The Associated Press does not typically identify people who say they are victims of sexual assault unless they grant permission, which Constand has.

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