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Cosby Sex Assault Trial Opens With Partisan Crowd

Cosby Sex Assault Trial Opens With Partisan Crowd

Bill Cosby arrives, sided by Cosby Show actress Keshia Knight Pulliam, at the Montgomery County Courthouse for the start day of the sexual assault trail in Norristown, Pennsylvania, on June 5, 2017. (Bastiaan Slabbers/NurPhoto, Sipa via AP Images)

By    |   Monday, 05 June 2017 10:25 AM

The sexual assault trial for 79-year-old comedian and actor Bill Cosby begins today in the small town of Norristown, Pennsylvania, near Philadelphia.

The legendary entertainer came under fire from dozens of allegations by women who claim they were drugged and raped by Cosby over decades. He is on trial, however, for the alleged sexual assault of Andrea Constand, who worked for Temple University, Cosby's alma mater, NBC News reported.

The trial is expected to draw witnesses and spectators from both sides. Some women who have claimed sexual misconduct from him will be in the courtroom.

"I hope he makes eye contact because I'd love to look him in the eye and stare him down," said Victoria Valentino, 74, a former Playboy Playmate who says Cosby drugged and raped her in 1969, according to NBC News.

Cosby's defense team hopes to boost his reputation as "America's Dad" by offering testimony from Keshia Knight Pulliam, now 38, who played his youngest daughter on "The Cosby Show." It's not clear if Phylicia Rashad, who played his wife on the show and has defended him, will appear at the trial.

Cosby has pleaded not guilty to three counts of aggravated indecent assault. Constand has charged that the comedian molested her at his home in 2004 following a two-year friendship. She says he gave her pills that "paralyzed" her during the assault. Cosby has countered that the encounter was consensual and that he had given her two Benadryl pills to relax.

The trial is expected to last two weeks and is the only criminal case to arise from allegations of dozens of women, according to The New York Times. Cosby, who is described as legally blind due to glaucoma, does not intend to testify, but Constand will be on the stand in what is expected to be the most dramatic part of the trial.

The accuser may face stiff questioning from defense lawyers as to why she took a year to file her complaint with police and why she stayed in touch with the comedian after the alleged assault.

Cosby settled a 2005 civil suit with Constand, but later argued that she and her lawyers violated terms of the agreement when she began cooperating with investigators in the criminal case, USA Today reported.

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The sexual assault trial for 79-year-old comedian and actor Bill Cosby begins today in the small town of Norristown, Pennsylvania, near Philadelphia.
cosby, sex, assault, trial
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2017-25-05
Monday, 05 June 2017 10:25 AM
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