NORRISTOWN- Bill Cosby’s defence lawyers on Tuesday were set to make their opening statements in his retrial on sex assault charges, a case that is expected to include testimony from a woman who claims his accuser had mused about profiting from allegations against a famous man.
Bill Cosby the legendary comedian and hit sitcom The Cosby’s is facing the same charges of sexually assaulting a friend in 2004 that he faced in a trial last year that ended with the jury unable to reach a verdict.
His defence will include new elements this time after Montgomery County Judge Steven O’Neill said he would allow testimony from a friend of accuser Andrea Constand, a 44-year-old former administrator at Cosby’s alma mater, Temple University. The friend claims Constand once spoke of extracting money from celebrities by making such accusations.
An accuser on Tuesday recounted her encounter in 1984 with Cosby, where her drink was spiked and woke up to find him naked, and attempted to force himself onto her, she said, “The next thing, I remember waking up on a bed. I have clothes on, he did not. I was lying down. He was forcing himself in my mouth,”
About 50 women have accused Cosby of sexual assault, in some cases he drugged them before the sexual assault, a string of alleged attacks dating back decades. All the accusations, apart from Constand’s, were too old to be the subject of criminal prosecution.
Cosby has denied wrongdoing, saying that any sexual contact he was involved in was consensual. If convicted of aggravated indecent assault, he could face up to 10 years in prison.
On Monday the new jury heard prosecutors’ opening statements that Cosby had paid $3.38 million to a woman who accused him of sexual assault as part of a 2006 settlement of a civil lawsuit. This fact was not revealed at Cosby’s first trial almost a year ago.
Cosby has changed his lawyers for this trial, with his defence headed by Tom Mesereau, a Los Angeles attorney well known for successfully defending singer Michael Jackson at his 2005 child molestation trial.
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