Sunday, 09 December, 2018

Cosby sexual assault United States retrial gets underway

The woman in question was escorted out by police The woman in question was escorted out by police — Reuters
Adrian Cunningham | 10 April, 2018, 15:13

District Attorney Kevin Steele highlighted the settlement amount during his opening statement at Cosby's retrial Monday. He has pleaded not guilty.

Cosby's team will call another witness, a former Temple University employee who worked with Constand, who is expected to testify that Constand told her that she could fabricate a claim of sexual assault to get a payout from Cosby.

His lawyers say he and Ms Constand shared a romantic relationship after they met at Mr Cosby's old university. This time, O'Neill is allowing prosecutors to present the accounts of five additional women with similar accusations - a change that experts say will help bolster Constand's credibility as just one in a line of women who say Cosby abused them. The criminal filing came after a judge unsealed deposition testimony in which Cosby admitted he obtained seven prescriptions for Quaaludes in the 1970s so he could give the powerful drug to women he found sexually attractive.

Rochelle, an actress, said she didn't have any bad experiences with Cosby when she was on the show, nor did she intend to physically hurt him.

During his opening statement to jurors at Cosby's sexual assault retrial, Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin R. Steele said the $3.4 million payment was meant to silence Constand after she accused Cosby of sexually assaulting her at his home in Cheltenham, Pa.

"Women's lives matter", yelled Nicolle Rochelle, 39, with "Cosby rapist" and the names of Cosby accusers written on her naked torso. I can sacrifice my body for all that she went through.

Judge Steven O'Neill declared a mistrial.

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Steele reminded the jury Constand's account may contain inconsistencies, as she recalls the incedent in which she was hazy from allegedly being drugged by Cosby.

The retrial of the American actor and comedian, Bill Cosby, is due to begin in Pennsylvania on Monday.

"This case is about trust", Steele said in court as he outlined the prosecution's case.

The accuser in the case, Andrea Constand, 44, is one of more than 50 women who have accused him of sexual assaults, some dating back decades. What is her relationship with Bill Cosby?

Ahead of opening statements, a topless protester who appeared on several episodes of The Cosby Show as a child jumped a barricade and got within a few feet of Cosby as the comedian entered the courthouse. As Hollywood Life noted, she had shared messages on social media, including a picture of herself in front of the house portrayed in The Cosby Show with a message against Bill Cosby.

This time, the prosecution will be allowed to seek testimony from up to five women who have accused Cosby of sexual misconduct in prior incidents.

Cosby, who was lauded as a hero by African Americans and revered by whites for smashing through racial barriers, is best known for "The Cosby Show" but won three acting Emmys for 1960s series "I Spy".