The lawyer who successfully defended Michael Jackson against child molestation charges will represent Bill Cosby when he is re-tried on sex assault charges later this year, the comedian’s spokesman said.
Tom Mesereau, one of three lawyers named as forming Cosby’s new legal team, is best known for helping to secure an acquittal for Jackson in the pop star’s 2005 child molestation trial in California.
Cosby, 80, was long beloved by US television audiences for his family-friendly style of comedy, before dozens of women came forward to accuse him of a series of sexual assaults dating back to the 1960s.
He is due to be re-tried beginning November 6 on charges of sexually assaulting Andrea Constand, a former administrator at his alma mater Temple University, at his Philadelphia-area home in 2004.
Cosby denies wrongdoing, saying any sexual contact he may have had with his accusers was consensual.
The jurors who heard Cosby’s first trial in the Constand case were unable to reach a verdict and Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas Judge Steven O’Neill declared a mistrial in May after 52 hours of deliberations that often stretched late into the night.
While dozens of women have accused Cosby of assaulting them, sometimes after plying them with drugs and alcohol, all but one of the alleged incidents was too old to be the subject of criminal prosecution.