Will This Be Trial That Puts Cosby Away?

Posted by on April 14, 2018 in Films & TV, Internet, Media & Arts with 0 Comments

Image via Associated Press

By MICHAEL R. SISAK | Associated Press

NORRISTOWN, Pa. (AP) — Bill Cosby paid nearly $3.4 million to the woman he is charged with sexually assaulting, a prosecutor revealed to jurors Monday, answering one of the biggest questions surrounding the case as the comedian’s retrial got underway.

District Attorney Kevin Steele highlighted the 2006 civil settlement during his opening statement, in an apparent attempt to suggest Cosby wouldn’t have paid out so much money if the accusations against him were false. Cosby’s lawyers have signaled they intend to use the settlement to argue that Andrea Constand falsely accused the former TV star in hopes of landing a big payoff.

The amount had been confidential — and was kept out of the first trial — but a judge ruled that both sides could discuss it at this one.


“This case is about trust,” Steele told the jury. “This case is about betrayal and that betrayal leading to the sexual assault of a woman named Andrea Constand.”

Cosby, 80, is charged with drugging and molesting Constand, a former employee of Temple University’s basketball program, at his suburban Philadelphia home in 2004. Constand says he gave her pills that made her woozy, then penetrated her with his fingers as she lay incapacitated, unable to tell him to stop.

A topless woman protester with “Women’s Lives Matter” written on her body jumped in front of Bill Cosby on Monday as the comedian walked into a courthouse for the start of his sexual assault retrial. (April 9)

“She’s unconscious. She’s out of it,” Steele said. “She will describe how her body felt during this circumstance. She’s jolted during this. She feels herself being violated. … And she’ll tell you she remembers waking up on this sofa with her clothes disheveled at 4 o’clock in the morning. This is hours after this starts.”

A lawyer not associated with the trial said Monday the settlement amount could figure prominently in the prosecution’s case.

“The question that I’m sure we’re going to hear a lot about is, why would an innocent man pay $3.38 million for something he didn’t do?” said Dennis McAndrews, who prosecuted chemical heir John E. duPont for murder in 1997.


The defense will deliver its opening statement on Tuesday in a trial expected to last a month.

Cosby’s first trial last spring ended with the jury hopelessly deadlocked. The comedian faces three counts of aggravated indecent assault, each punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

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.

The woman, whose body was scrawled with the names of more than 50 Cosby accusers as well as the words “Women’s Lives Matter,” ran in front of Cosby and toward a bank of TV cameras but was intercepted by sheriff’s deputies and led away in handcuffs. Cosby seemed startled by the commotion as a half-dozen protesters chanted at him.

The protester, Nicolle Rochelle , 39, of Little Falls, New Jersey, was charged with disorderly conduct and released.

“The main goal was to make Cosby uncomfortable because that is exactly what he has been doing for decades to women,” she said afterward.

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