Black Cosby accuser questions defense claim of racial bias

One of Bill Cosby's accusers has a question about a controversial part of his defense strategy — his claim that he's a victim of racial bias.

"What about us black women whom he sexually violated?" artist Lili Bernard asked in an interview with NBC News at her home in Beverly Hills.

"We're talking about a man who serially raped at least 60 women and that's where the focus must be," said Bernard, who was born in Cuba and identifies as black. "Race has nothing to do with it."

After several courtroom defeats, Cosby is trying to make race an issue in his criminal sexual abuse case. In a series of court filings that will be the subject of pretrial hearings that open this week, the comedian's lawyers say he is a victim of prejudice.

RELATED: See Cosby going to court

28 PHOTOS
Bill Cosby's sex assault case
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Bill Cosby's sex assault case
ELKINS PARK, PA - DECEMBER 30: Comedian Bill Cosby is seen leaving on December 30, 2015 at the District Court in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania. Cosby has been charged for aggravated indecent assault for a 2004 incident involving Temple University employee Andrea Constand. (Photo by Gilbert Carrasquillo/WireImage)
Former Mrs America Lisa Christie, who alleges misconduct by Bill Cosby, holds up photos of her younger self during a news conference at the law office of attorney Gloria Allred in Los Angeles, September 30, 2015. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Actor and comedian Bill Cosby arrives for a Habeas Corpus hearing on sexual assault charges at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pennsylvania, July 7, 2016. REUTERS/Mark Makela TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Comedian Bill Cosby touches the metal detector after bumping into it as he arrives at the Montgomery County Courthouse for a preliminary hearing related to assault charges, May 24, 2016, in Norristown, Pennsylvania, U.S.. REUTERS/Dominick Reuter/POOL TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
ELKINS PARK, PA - DECEMBER 30: (EDITORS NOTE: Best quality available) In this handout image provided by the Elkins Park, Montgomery County District Attorney's office, William H. Cosby poses for a mugshot photo during his arraignment December 30, 2015 in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania. Cosby was arraigned at 2:30 p.m. before Magisterial District Judge Elizabeth McHugh and charged with Aggravated Indecent Assault. Bail was set at $1 million under the condition that he surrender his passport and have no contact with the victim. Cosby was released.after posting $100,000, the required 10 percent of bail. (Photo by Montgomery County District Attorney's Office via Getty Images)
A woman holding a sign that reads "Rape is No Joke" protests as people walk into the Centre In The Square venue where Bill Cosby is performing in Kitchener, January 7, 2015. Bill Cosby, the subject of more than a dozen sex abuse allegations over the past three months, will go ahead with three Canadian shows this week, coming as more women levelled accusations against the comedian. REUTERS/Mark Blinch (CANADA - Tags: CRIME LAW ENTERTAINMENT TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)
Attorney Gloria Allred (L) speaks accompanied by Actress Lili Bernard (R) announcing allegations against comedian Bill Cosby in New York, May 1, 2015. REUTERS/Darren Ornitz TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
ELKINS PARK, PA - DECEMBER 30: Bill Cosby's home is seen after his arraignment at Montgomery County District Court on sexual assault charges December 30, 2015 in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania. Cosby was arraigned at 2:30 p.m. before Magisterial District Judge Elizabeth McHugh charged with Aggravated Indecent Assault. Bail was set at $1 million under the condition that he surrender his passport and have no contact with the victim. Cosby was released after posting the required 10 percent of the bail, $100,000. (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Getty Images)
Actor and comedian Bill Cosby waves to cheering fans while departing a hearing on sexual assault charges at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pennsylvania February 3, 2016. REUTERS/Mark Makela TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Linda Kirkpatrick, one of three women who allege they were sexually assaulted by comedian Bill Cosby, listens to a question after speaking at a news conference in Los Angeles, California, January 7, 2015. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson (UNITED STATES - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT CRIME LAW TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)
ELKINS PARK, PA - DECEMBER 30: Bill Cosby is led from the Cheltenham Police Station after his arraignment at Montgomery County District Court on sexual assault charges December 30, 2015 in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania. Cosby was arraigned at 2:30 p.m. before Magisterial District Judge Elizabeth McHugh charged with Aggravated Indecent Assault. Bail was set at $1 million under the condition that he surrender his passport and have no contact with the victim. Cosby was released after posting the required 10 percent of the bail, $100,000. (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Getty Images)
ELKINS PARK, PA - DECEMBER 30: Bill Cosby's home is seen after his arraignment at Montgomery County District Court on sexual assault charges December 30, 2015 in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania. Cosby was arraigned at 2:30 p.m. before Magisterial District Judge Elizabeth McHugh charged with Aggravated Indecent Assault. Bail was set at $1 million under the condition that he surrender his passport and have no contact with the victim. Cosby was released after posting the required 10 percent of the bail, $100,000. (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Getty Images)
Bill Cosby leaves his arraignment at Montgomery County District Court in Cheltenham, Pa., on Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2015, after county prosecutors filed sex assault charges against him. (Tom Gralish/Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS via Getty Images)
ELKINS PARK, PA - DECEMBER 30: Comedian Bill Cosby (C) arrives on December 30, 2015 at the District Court in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania. Cosby has been charged for aggravated indecent assault for a 2004 incident involving Temple University employee Andrea Constand. (Photo by Gilbert Carrasquillo/WireImage)
US comedian Bill Cosby arrives December 30, 2015 to the Court House in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania to face charges of aggravated indecent assault. Cosby was arraigned over an incident that took place in 2004 -- the first criminal charge filed against the actor after dozens of women claimed abuse.AFP PHOTO/KENA BETANCUR / AFP / KENA BETANCUR (Photo credit should read KENA BETANCUR/AFP/Getty Images)
US comedian Bill Cosby December 30, 2015 at the Court House in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania to face arraignment on charges of aggravated indecent assault. Cosby was arraigned over an incident that took place in 2004 -- the first criminal charge filed against the actor after dozens of women claimed abuse.AFP PHOTO/KENA BETANCUR / AFP / KENA BETANCUR (Photo credit should read KENA BETANCUR/AFP/Getty Images)
Montgomery County First Assistant District Attorney Kevin Steele speaks during a press conference announcing the indictment of Bill Cosby for alleged sexual assault on Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2015. At left is Cheltenham Township police Chief John Norris, and at right is Samuel J. Gallen, chief of Montgomery County Detectives. (Alejandro A. Alvarez/Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, DECEMBER 30: Attorney Gloria Allred speaks during a press conference in response to the felony sexual assault charges levied against comedian Bill Cosby stemming from an alleged January 2004 assault of Temple University employee Andrea Constand at Cosby's Pennsylvania home December 30, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. Allred represents 29 alleged sexual assault victims of Bill Cosby. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
ELKINS PARK, PA - DECEMBER 30: Bill Cosby's home is seen after his arraignment at Montgomery County District Court on sexual assault charges December 30, 2015 in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania. Cosby was arraigned at 2:30 p.m. before Magisterial District Judge Elizabeth McHugh charged with Aggravated Indecent Assault. Bail was set at $1 million under the condition that he surrender his passport and have no contact with the victim. Cosby was released after posting the required 10 percent of the bail, $100,000. (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Getty Images)
Actor and comedian Bill Cosby departs the Montgomery County Courthouse after a pre-trial hearing on sexual assault charges in Norristown, Pennsylvania May 24, 2016. REUTERS/Mark Makela TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Attorney Gloria Allred holds a copy of a criminal complaint by Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, during a news conference in Los Angeles, California to comment on the aggravated indecent assault charges filed against comedian Bill Cosby by the Montgomery County, Pennsylvania District Attorney December 30, 2015. Cosby has been charged with felony sexual assault over an incident in 2004 at his Philadelphia-area mansion, a Pennsylvania prosecutor said on Wednesday, in the first criminal case involving the comedian after years of mounting accusations. REUTERS/Kevork Djansezian TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Actor and comedian Bill Cosby is helped through the metal detector as he arrives for the first day of his sexual assault trial at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pennsylvania, U.S. June 5, 2017. REUTERS/David Maialetti/Pool TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Bill Cosby is helped by an aide as he returns into Courtroom A in the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pennsylvania, U.S. September 6, 2016. REUTERS/Michael Bryant/Pool TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
NORRISTOWN, PA - JUNE 5: Bill Cosby arrives with actress Keshia Knight Pulliam (R) at the Montgomery County Courthouse before the opening of the sexual assault trial June 5, 2017 in Norristown, Pennsylvania. A former Temple University employee alleges that the entertainer drugged and molested her in 2004 at his home in suburban Philadelphia. More than 40 women have accused the 79 year old entertainer of sexual assault. (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)
NORRISTOWN, PA - JUNE 5: Brian McMonagle, an attorney for Bill Cosby, arrives at the Montgomery County Courthouse before the opening of the sexual assault trial June 5, 2017 in Norristown, Pennsylvania. A former Temple University employee alleges that the entertainer drugged and molested her in 2004 at his home in suburban Philadelphia. More than 40 women have accused the 79 year old entertainer of sexual assault. (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - MAY 23: Bill Cosby is escorted to the Allegheny County Courthouse before the second day of jury selection in his sexual assault case on Tuesday, May 23, 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Andrew Rush - Pool/Getty Images)
NORRISTOWN, PA - JUNE 5: Attorney Gloria Allred arrives at the Montgomery County Courthouse before the opening of the sexual assault trial of Bill Cosby June 5, 2017 in Norristown, Pennsylvania. A former Temple University employee alleges that the entertainer drugged and molested her in 2004 at his home in suburban Philadelphia. More than 40 women have accused the 79 year old entertainer of sexual assault. (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)
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"We cannot ignore the unfortunate role that racial bias still plays in our criminal justice system," the attorneys wrote in their motion to dismiss.

Cosby, 79, has been ordered to stand trial on charges he drugged and molested a white woman, Andrea Constand, in an encounter at his Pennsylvania home in 2004 — the only criminal prosecution to come out of dozens of accusations.

Cosby has pleaded not guilty to the charges, and has denied all accusations, including Bernard's, in court filings and statements. His attorneys declined to speak to NBC News.

Prosecutors and the defense will meet again in a Pennsylvania courtroom starting Tuesday to wrangle over key issues in the case, including whether other Cosby accusers can testify.

RELATED: See who's accused Cosby over the years

26 PHOTOS
List of accusers against Bill Cosby
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List of accusers against Bill Cosby

Andrea Constand

Date of alleged assault: January 2004
Date of accusation: March 2005

(REUTERS/Mark Blinch)

Linda Ridgeway Whitedeer

Date of alleged assault: Early 1970's
Date of accusation: August 12, 2015

(Photo by MARK RALSTON via AFP/Getty Images)

Former actress Eden Tirl

Date of alleged assault: Early 1970's
Date of accusation: August 12, 2015

(Photo by MARK RALSTON via AFP/Getty Images)

Colleen Hughes

Date of alleged assault: Early 1970's
Date of accusation: August 12, 2015

(Photo by MARK RALSTON via AFP/Getty Images)

Lise-Lotte Lublin

Date of alleged assault: 1989
Date of accusation: February 12, 2015 

(Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

Linda Brown

Date of alleged assault: 1969
Date of accusation: February 12, 2015 i. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

Katherine McKee

Date of alleged incident: 1970s
Date of accusation: Dec. 22, 2014

(NY Daily News)

"Lisa"

Date of alleged incident: 1988
Date of accusation: Dec. 19, 2014

(Dr.Phil)

Beverly Johnson

Date of alleged incident: mid-’80s
Date of accusation: Dec. 11, 2014

(Getty)

Jewel Allison

Date of Alleged Assault – late 1980s
Date of Accusation – Nov. 24, 2014

(Photo by Debbie Egan-Chin/NY Daily News via Getty Images)

Linda Joy Traitz

Date of Alleged Assault – 1970s
Date of Accusation – Nov. 22, 2014

(Facebook)

Angela Leslie

Date of Alleged Assault – 1992
Date of Accusation– Nov. 21, 2014

(Facebook)

Victoria Valentino

Date of Alleged Assault – 1970
Date of Accusation – Nov. 21, 2014

(Photo by Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Louisa Moritz

Date of Alleged Assault – 1971
Date of Accusation – Nov. 20, 2014

(Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images)

Michelle Hurd

Date of Alleged Assault – mid 1990s
Date of Accusation – Nov. 20, 2014

(Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)

Barbara Bowman

Date of Alleged Assault – 1986
Date of Accusation – Nov. 13, 2014

(Getty)

Marcella Tate

Date of Alleged Assault – 1975
Date of Accusation – 2015

(Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Joan Tarshis

Date of Alleged Assault – 1969
Date of Accusation – 2014

(Matt Moyer For The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Margie Shapiro 

Date of Alleged Assault – Early 1970's
Date of Accusation – 2015

(Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Lynn Neal

Date of Alleged Assault – 1980's
Date of Accusation – 2015

(Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Sammie Mays

Date of Alleged Assault – Mid 1980's
Date of Accusation – 2015

(Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images)

Linda Kirkpatrick

Date of Alleged Assault – 1981
Date of Accusation – 2015

(Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Janice Baker Kinney

Date of Alleged Assault – 1982
Date of Accusation – 2015

(Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Kacey

Date of Alleged Assault – Early 1990's
Date of Accusation – 2015

(Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Autumn Burns

Date of Alleged Assault – 1970
Date of Accusation – 2015

(Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

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Prosecutors want permission to put up to 13 women who say they were drugged and abused on the witness stand, to establish a pattern of behavior dating back to the 1960s. Cosby's lawyers claim prosecutors have stacked that roster with white women in a nod to a racist trope.

"The Commonwealth's choice preys upon subconscious (or perhaps conscious) beliefs that a white woman is less likely to consent to sex with a black man, particularly in the 1960s and 1970s, the time period the Commonwealth chose to focus on," the defense wrote in court papers.

Although Cosby's team says there is only one black woman among the 13 potential witnesses, there are actually two who identify as black. Among the almost 60 women who have come forward to accuse Cosby, more than a dozen are black.

Bernard, who founded the group Black Artists in Los Angeles, is not one of the 13 women who might testify in the Pennsylvania case. She says that Cosby drugged and raped her in the early 1990s, when she was guest-starring on the last season of "The Cosby Show."

She blasted his focus on race, including a comparison to a lynch mob made by one of his lawyers last year.

"He is paralleling my holding him accountable for his drugging and raping me, and the other 60 of us holding him accountable for drugging and raping us ... to his being a victim of racism, to him being a victim of a modern-day lynching," Bernard said. "What that does is it denigrates the souls of the real heroes of the civil rights movement."

RELATED: See Cosby through the years

34 PHOTOS
Bill Cosby through the years
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Bill Cosby through the years
July 1973: The actor, Bill Cosby, in Perth. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 16: Actor Bill Cosby leaves his New York City home accompanied by his wife, Camille (L,) and a young woman with her hands over her face, believed to be one of his four daughters, enroute to Los Angeles, CA, 16 January 1997 after his son Enis William Cosby was found shot to death along a California freeway. The young Cosby, 28, was found in a pool of blood after he stopped to change a flat tire. (Photo credit should read BOB STRONG/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, : Actor and comedian Bill Cosby (R) and his wife Camille arrive at the White House 06 December for a reception prior to being honored at the 21st annual national Kennedy Center Honors. Cosby and the other honorees will be saluted later 06 December at a performance in the Kennedy Center's Opera House. AFP PHOTO/CHRIS KLEPONIS (Photo credit should read CHRIS KLEPONIS/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, UNITED STATES: Co-hosts Oprah Winfrey and Bill Cosby joke with each other during the opening of the 2000 Essence Awards 14 April, 2000 at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. Actor Danny Glover and basketball star Michael Jordan were two of the honorees at the ceremonies sponsored by Essence Magazine. AFP PHOTO/Matt CAMPBELL (Photo credit should read MATT CAMPBELL/AFP/Getty Images)
386603 06: Rachel Robinson and Actor Bill Cosby, who was the Master of Ceremonies, share a moment March 12, 2001 at The Jackie Robinson Foundation 2001 Awards Dinner at The Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City. (Photo by George De Sota/Newsmakers)
NEW YORK, UNITED STATES: Actor Bill Cosby arrives at the NBC 75th Anniversary Special at Rockefeller Plaza in New York 05 May 2002. The actual anniversary fell on 15 November, 2001. AFP PHOTO Doug KANTER (Photo credit should read DOUG KANTER/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 9: Actor Comedian Bill Cosby shows off the Presidential Medal of Freedom he received from U.S. President George W. Bush during a ceremony July 9, 2002 at the White House in Washington, DC. The medal is the highest civilian award given to those who have made meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
PHILIDELPHIA - MAY 22: Comedian and member of the Board of Trustees of Temple University Bill Cosby enters the arena prior to speaking to the graduates of the Class of 2003 at Temple University's commencement ceremony in The Liacouras Center May 22, 2003 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Don Murray/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES - SEPTEMBER 21: Actor Bill Cosby poses backstage with his 'Bob Hope Humanitarian' award during the 55th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at the Shrine Auditorium September 21, 2003 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Carlo Allegri/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA - DECEMBER 12: Comedian Bill Cosby introduces the film 'Fat Albert' at Temple University's Liacouras Center for the world premiere of 'Fat Albert' December 12, 2004 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The film, based on Bill Cosby's 'Fat Albert' cartoon series of the 70's, opens nationwide Christmas day. (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - DECEMBER 11: Comedian Bill Cosby performs at the Apollo Theater on December 11, 2005 In New York City. (Photo by Brad Barket/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON - OCTOBER 14: (AFP OUT) Entertainer Bill Cosby speaks during a taping of 'Meet the Press' at the NBC studios October 14, 2007 in Washington, DC. Cosby spoke on the new book he co-authored 'Come On, People: On the Path from Victims to Victors.' (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images for Meet the Press)
NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 19: Bill Cosby arrives at the Esquie Magazine and Village Academies event honoring Bill Cosby at Esquire North November 19, 2007 in New York City. (Photo by Rob Loud/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON - OCTOBER 26: Comedian Bill Cosby poses for photographers at the 12th annual Mark Twain Prize for American Humor at the John F. Kennedy Center on October 26, 2009 in Washington, DC. Cosby is this year's honoree. (Photo by Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - JUNE 08: Bill Cosby and his wife Camille Cosby speak onstage at the Apollo Theater 75th Anniversary Gala at The Apollo Theater on June 8, 2009 in New York City. (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA - APRIL 6: Bill Cosby, Ed.D. poses for pictures before accepting the Marian Anderson Award at a gala concert produced in partnership with The Philadelphia Orchestra April 6, 2010 at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - MARCH 08: Comedian Bill Cosby attends the Jackie Robinson Foundation Annual Awards Dinner at the The Waldorf Astoria on March 8, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for The Jackie Robinson Foundation)
LAS VEGAS - OCTOBER 09: Actor/comedian Bill Cosby speaks onstage during Andre Agassi Foundation for Education's 15th Grand Slam for Children benefit concert at the Wynn Las Vegas October 9, 2010 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The event raises funds to help improve education for underserved youth in the Las Vegas community. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 02: Comedian Bill Cosby promotes new book 'I Didn't Ask To Be Born: But I'm Glad I Was' at the Barnes & Noble, 5th Avenue on November 2, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 10: Bill Cosby accepts the Impact Award for 'The Cosby Show' with (L-R) actor Malcolm-Jamal Warner, presenter Stevie Wonder, actors Raven-Symone and Sabrina LeBeauf onstage at the 9th Annual TV Land Awards at the Javits Center on April 10, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 07: Host Bill Cosby speaks onstage at the 2011 Jackie Robinson Foundation awards gala atThe Waldorf=Astoria on March 7, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images for The Jackie Robinson Foundation)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 14: Bill Cosby performs during the Screen Gems Presents The Steve & Marjorie Harvey Foundation Gala at Cipriani Wall Street on May 14, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Steve & Marjorie Harvey Foundation)
BOSTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 13: Actor Bill Cosby gestures to the crowd after throwing out the first pitch prior to the game between the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees on September 13, 2012 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 05: Bill Cosby hosts the Jackie Robinson Foundation Awards Gala at The Waldorf=Astoria on March 5, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images for The Jackie Robinson Foundation)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JUNE 15: Actor/comedian Bill Cosby speaks onstage during the 100th anniversary celebration of the Beverly Hills Hotel & Bungalows supporting the Motion Picture & Television Fund and the American Comedy Fund hosted by Bill Cosby at the Beverly Hills Hotel on June 15, 2012 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images for BHH)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 06: Bill Cosby performs at the 7th annual 'Stand Up For Heroes' event at Madison Square Garden on November 6, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 22: Bill Cosby speaks during the 55th Anniversary of Ben's Chili Bowl on August 22, 2013 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Kris Connor/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 04: Dr. Bill Cosby speaks onstage at the The Jackie Robinson Foundation Annual Awards' Dinner at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel on March 4, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images for The Jackie Robinson Foundation)
LAS VEGAS, NV - SEPTEMBER 26: Comedian/actor Bill Cosby performs at the Treasure Island Hotel & Casino on September 26, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 26: Comedian Bill Cosby addresses the Press Room during the 2014 American Comedy Awards at Hammerstein Ballroom on April 26, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)
AUSTIN, TX - MARCH 10: Actor/comedian Bill Cosby performs onstage at Funny Or Die Clubhouse + Facebook Pop-Up HQ @ SXSW - Day 2 on March 10, 2014 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Jonathan Leibson/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 26: Comedian Bill Cosby attends 2014 American Comedy Awards at Hammerstein Ballroom on April 26, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)
MELBOURNE, FL - NOVEMBER 21: Actor Bill Cosby performs at the King Center for the Performing Arts on November 21, 2014 in Melbourne, Florida. (Photo by Gerardo Mora/Getty Images)
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As a legal strategy, the bias argument is not likely to convince a judge to throw out charges or block witnesses, experts say.

"It won't work," said Wes Oliver, a professor at Duquesne University School of Law and an NBC analyst, explaining that prosecutors can likely justify their witness choices beyond race.

In their own filing, prosecutors called Cosby's accusations "gratuitous and inflammatory."

"The Commonwealth's duty is to do justice for all," they wrote. "Its selection of victims, accordingly, had nothing to do with race. It dealt only with the highest degree of similarity of the other sexual assaults to the one charged in this case."

Cosby's lawyers also hinted at race in another line of argument, criticizing Montgomery County DA Kevin Steele for running a "Willie Horton-style" campaign ad that invoked Cosby before getting into office and deciding to file charges in the Constand matter.

Horton is the black convicted murderer and rapist who was the subject of an infamous attack ad against presidential candidate Michael Dukakis that was widely seen as an appeal to racism.

In sharply worded motions filed Monday, Cosby's attorneys also argued that the 13 potential witnesses are "unreliable" and offered "inconsistent" versions of their stories over the years, and fail to demonstrate a "signature" pattern of conduct. They asked the court to grant a separate hearing to examine the competency of each accuser as a witness.

"There has never been a shred of physical evidence to support such claims, they have never been reported to any authority, and today their stories of 'that night partying with a famous celebrity' are based solely on the tainted, unreliable memories of women, now in their senior years, recalling alleged events from a single encounter from the 1960s, 1970s, or 1980s," his attorneys wrote.

"And, 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," they continued. "Even if proven (and it could not be), the age-old 'casting couch' is not unique to Mr. Cosby, and thus not a 'signature' nor a basis for the admissibility of these witnesses' stories, let alone a conviction."

Cosby's lawyers are seeking to dismiss or weaken the prosecution's case on several other fronts, including:

They argue that a deposition he gave in 2005 for a civil suit filed by Constand, in which he discussed giving Quaaludes to women before sex, should be kept out of the trial because he only gave it after being promised he would not be charged criminally. The court has already ruled that the earlier decision not to charge Cosby was not binding and that the current case should go forward.

The lawyers say that Cosby has registered as "legally blind," and that his failing eyesight, along with a fading memory, means that he cannot remember of recognize his accusers, depriving him of the ability to assist in his defense. Oliver said that argument is a longshot. "I've had clients who had amnesia and courts have said that wasn't enough," he said.

The Washington Post's count of women accusing Cosby of sexual misconduct was 58 as of May 2016. Twenty-seven of them appeared in a Dateline group interview in October 2015.

In a statement issued in response to Montgomery County prosecutors' most recent legal motion, Cosby's attorneys said, "The Commonwealth admits that it wants to try him for 40 and 50-year-old accusations, many of which were raised for the first time in press releases and on talk shows, and that have never made their way to any courtroom or police station in this country. If our justice system is allowed to be distorted and abandoned for Mr. Cosby, none of us are safe."

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