Bill Cosby Racism Claim Is an Attempt to Sway Jurors, Legal Experts Say

“That’s probably the end game,” attorney Mark Geragos tells the Associated Press

Legal experts say Bill Cosby‘s attempts to claim racial prejudice in the rape allegations against him could be an attempt to sway potential jurors.

On Tuesday, lawyers for the comedian said in a statement that attorney Gloria Allred, who represents many of Cosby’s accusers, has launched a “campaign” against Cosby which “builds on racial bias and prejudice that can pollute the court of public opinion.”

“I think that you’ve always got to have in mind who’s your jury pool,” high-profile lawyer Mark Geragos told the Associated Press. “That’s probably the end game.”

“It is ironic that a man who has chastised the black poor for making race an excuse would now have to lean upon that as part of his defense strategy … If you’re more cynical, you might say, ‘What manipulation of racial rhetoric in defense of the indefensible,'” Georgetown University sociology professor Michael Eric Dyson also told the AP.

Dyson is author of the book “Is Bill Cosby Right? Or Has the Black Middle Class Lost Its Mind?”

In Tuesday’s statement, Cosby’s lawyers accused Allred of grandstanding to the detriment of Cosby’s civil rights.

“She calls herself a civil rights attorney, but her campaign against Mr. Cosby builds on racial bias and prejudice that can pollute the court of public opinion,” the attorneys said. “And when the media repeats her accusations — with no evidence, no trial and no jury — we are moved backwards as a country and away from the America that our civil rights leaders sacrificed so much to create.”

Cosby has been accused of rape or sexual assault by dozens of women, many of whom claimed that he drugged them beforehand. The comedian has denied the allegations, and in some cases has sued his accusers.

A tentative trial date was set for June 5, 2017, pushed back from this fall due to what Judge Steven O’Neill called the “extraordinarily overbooked” schedule of the comedian’s main defense lawyer.