Saturday, 19 January, 2019

Cosby arrives for start of Pennsylvania sex assault trial

Bill Cosby's old on-screen daughter has attended court to show support for him at his sexual assault trial Cosby arrives for start of Pennsylvania sex assault trial
Nellie Chapman | 06 June, 2017, 04:47

Bill Cosby has gone on trial accused of drugging and sexually assaulting a woman more than a decade ago.

"As she went in and out of consciousness, she witnessed her body being used to sexually gratify the defendant", Feden said.

His wife was absent as the TV star, using a wooden cane, hobbled past dozens of cameras into the courthouse. His TV shows, films and comedy tours earned him an estimated $400 million. Her emotional testimony was meant to persuade jurors that Cosby demonstrated a pattern of behavior when he allegedly attacked Constand in 2004.

Celebrity attorney Gloria Allred, who showed up for the first day of the trial, told reporters she is hopeful "there will be justice in this case".

Mr Cosby's lawyers are expected to ask Ms Constand why she returned to Mr Cosby's house after she said he had made previous unwanted sexual advances on her.

A "he said, she said" case? From left are Sabrina Le Beauf, Tempest Bledsoe, Cosby, Keshia Knight Pulliam, Phylicia Rashad, Raven Symone and Malcolm-Jamal Warner, May 2, 2002.

The prosecution countered that the defense was trying to distract jurors by talking about inconsistencies, when most of Constand's story is corroborated in Cosby's deposition.

Bill Cosby is going on trial on Monday, in the only sexual assault case resulting from over 50 claims made against him.

In February 2005, then Montgomery County District Attorney Bruce L. Castor Jr. decided not to bring criminal charges against Cosby, citing "insufficient credible and admissible evidence".

She says that whatever he gave her left her so incapacitated she couldn't speak or move while Cosby was "fondling her breasts, put his hand in her trousers... penetrated her vagina with his fingers" and "took her right hand and placed it on his penis", according to the arrest affidavit. The jury was selected in the Pittsburgh area because of the heavy publicity surrounding the case and is sequestered at a hotel for the duration of the trial, expected to last two weeks.

"She couldn't say no", Feden said. He says he gave her Benadryl, which he says Cosby also took on the road when he couldn't sleep. Thirteen women signed on to support her lawsuit, saying Cosby had also molested them.

Almost 60 other women have made similar allegations against the actor, and some of them are pursuing civil cases against him.

"I remember hearing sounds, grunting sounds", she said.

Bill Cosby arrived at the suburban Philadelphia courthouse Monday morning for the start of his sex-assault trial as the attorney representing numerous victims in the case called the day "historic".

But the trial concerns the allegations of just one woman, a former Temple University employee. And, she said, her truth was to be at court and to be supportive. "Lead defense lawyer Brian McMonagle hopes to call a memory expert to challenge accusations he calls 'nothing more than vague recollections.' District Attorney Kevin Steele will be allowed to call one other accuser to suggest Cosby's conduct with Constand was part of a 'signature" crime pattern.

Feden, the prosecutor, warned the jury not to fall into the trap of confusing celebrities with the characters they play.

Bill Cosby goes on trial Monday in the only criminal case to emerge from the dozens of sexual assault allegations lodged against him.