September 15, 2017 / 3:38 PM / 3 years ago

Bill Cosby's retrial for sexual assault set for April

FILE PHOTO: Actor and comedian Bill Cosby arrives on the tenth day of his sexual assault trial at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pennsylvania, U.S., June 16, 2017. REUTERS/Tom Mihalek/File Photo

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Comedian Bill Cosby’s retrial on sexual assault charges will begin on April 2 in Norristown, Pennsylvania, a judge ruled on Friday.

Cosby’s first trial ended in a mistrial in June after a jury failed to reach a unanimous verdict after deliberating more than 50 hours.

The 80-year-old entertainer is accused of drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand, a former administrator with the women’s basketball team at his alma mater, Temple University, in 2004.

Cosby’s family-friendly reputation, built upon a long career highlighted by his starring role in the 1980s television comedy “The Cosby Show,” has been shattered by dozens of allegations of sexual assault dating back decades. Constand’s accusations are the only ones recent enough to sustain criminal charges.

Cosby has denied any wrongdoing, saying any encounters with his accusers were consensual.

For the second trial, Cosby will use a new defense team led by Tom Mesereau, a Los Angeles lawyer best known for successfully defending the late singer Michael Jackson from child sexual abuse charges in 2005.

Jury selection will begin sometime in March, Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas Judge Steven O’Neill said in a brief order released on Friday.

Reporting by Joseph Ax; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn

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