NORRISTOWN, Pa. — A topless protester with “Girls’s Lives Matter” written on her physique jumped a barricade and acquired inside a number of ft of Invoice Cosby on Monday because the comic walked right into a suburban Philadelphia courthouse for the beginning of his sexual assault retrial.

The unidentified lady ran in entrance of Cosby towards a financial institution of TV cameras however was intercepted by sheriff’s deputies and led away in handcuffs.

Cosby appeared startled by the commotion as a half-dozen protesters chanted at him.

The disruption got here forward of opening statements Monday, although a delay was anticipated whereas the decide sorted by allegations raised late Friday {that a} juror was overheard saying he thought Cosby was responsible. Cosby’s attorneys requested that the person be questioned and faraway from the case.


Prosecutors have lined up a parade of accusers to make the case that the person revered as “America’s Dad” lived a double life as considered one of Hollywood’s largest predators.

He’s combating again with a brand new, high-profile lawyer and an aggressive technique: attacking Andrea Constand as a grasping liar and casting the opposite ladies testifying as bandwagon accusers on the lookout for a share of the highlight.


“You’ve seen previews and coming points of interest, however issues have modified,” mentioned professor Laurie Levenson of Loyola Legislation Faculty in Los Angeles.

Cosby’s first trial final spring resulted in a cliffhanger, with jurors unable to succeed in a unanimous verdict after 5 days of tense deliberations on expenses that the person who made thousands and thousands of viewers giggle as clever and understanding Dr. Cliff Huxtable on “The Cosby Present” drugged and molested Constand at his suburban Philadelphia house in 2004.


The 80-year-old comic, who has mentioned the sexual contact was consensual, faces three counts of aggravated indecent assault, every punishable by as much as 10 years in jail.

His retrial is happening in a radically modified and doubtlessly extra hostile setting. The #MeToo motion caught hearth 4 months after the primary trial, elevating consciousness of sexual misconduct because it toppled Harvey Weinstein, Sen. Al Franken, Matt Lauer and different highly effective males.

Practically each potential juror questioned for the case this time knew about #MeToo.

Kristen Houser of the Nationwide Sexual Violence Useful resource Middle mentioned that might assist prosecutors overcome the skepticism some jurors had final time about Constand’s yearlong wait to report her allegations to the police.

“The #MeToo motion is amplifying what consultants have been saying for many years: Persons are ashamed, they’re confused, they will’t consider anyone they belief would damage them, after which they fear that others gained’t consider them,” Houser mentioned.

After limiting the main focus of the primary trial, Decide Steven O’Neill has been keen to let each side push the retrial effectively past Constand’s allegations.

This time, O’Neill is letting prosecutors have 5 extra accusers testify — together with mannequin Janice Dickinson — as they try to point out Cosby made a behavior of drugging and violating ladies. The decide allowed only one different accuser to take the stand final time.

“This one shall be tougher for the defence,” Levenson mentioned. This time, Constand “will not be alone, and there may be power in numbers.”

In one other distinction, the decide this time is letting Cosby’s authorized staff name as a witness a former co-worker of Constand’s at Temple College who mentioned Constand spoke of organising a “high-profile individual” so she may sue and luxuriate in an enormous payday. Constand’s lawyer has mentioned the co-worker is mendacity.

The decide additionally determined the jury can hear the reply to one of many largest questions hanging over the case: How a lot did Cosby pay Constand to settle her lawsuit towards him greater than a decade in the past? The 2 sides agreed on the first trial to not point out the lawsuit.

Cosby lawyer Tom Mesereau, who gained an acquittal in Michael Jackson’s 2005 youngster molestation case, mentioned the jury will study “simply how grasping” Constand was.

In a twist, the decide hinted that he won’t permit jurors to listen to Cosby’s lurid deposition testimony about giving quaaludes to ladies earlier than intercourse. He mentioned he would rule on it through the trial. Cosby testified in 2005 and 2006 as a part of Constand’s lawsuit.

The Related Press doesn’t usually determine individuals who say they’re victims of sexual assault except they grant permission, which Constand and Dickinson have finished.



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