As tempers flared, an intense shouting match erupted at Bill Cosby's sexual assault case on Tuesday between the lawyers on both sides.
District Attorney Kevin Steele and Cosby's lawyer Brian McMonagle screamed at one another about the defense team's practice of publicizing the names of the women accusing Cosby of sexual assault, according to USA Today.
At the beginning of the day's court hearing, Montgomery County Judge Steven O'Neill admonished the Steele and McMonagle saying that their behavior was uncivil.
While the lawyers were seriously intense during the hearing, the 79-year-old actor was in a joking mood. As he was being wandered by security guards at the courthouse, Cosby said to the security guards: "Don't tase me bro."
One of the issues that caused the dispute was whether the prosecutors would be allowed to call the comedian's 13 accusers as trial witnesses.
McMonagle argued that many of the women had already gone public with their allegations; therefore they should have to speak in trial.
"These are witnesses in a trial," he said. "They are not children."
Judge O'Neill eventually ruled that Cosby's defense team could identify 11 of the women by name. The other two had not gone public with their allegations, and therefore their identities were to be protected.
In a written defense brief back in October, McMonagle wrote: "To come up with the required showing of a 'signature,' the commonwealth reaches for a cliché: a giant in the entertainment industry using his power to take advantage of young aspiring actresses. Even if proven...the age-old 'casting couch' is not unique to Mr. Cosby."
While some of the accusers had an ongoing relationship with Cosby, several of them were only acquaintances that he met while on a plane or at a casino.
Cosby's lawyers have sent a petition requesting permission to ask each accuser as many as 80 questions. McMonagle believes the crimes are decades-old, and were vague claims that were never investigated at the alleged time of the incident.
McMonagle also has put in question the motivation of the accusers. He feels that their primary concern is to seek financial rewards.
The trial is scheduled for this coming Spring.
What are your thoughts about these latest developments in the Bill Cosby trial? Do you think that Cosby's accusers should give their testimony in court?
[H/T USA Today]
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