Saturday, 21 July, 2018

Bill Cosby sexual assault retrial begins after delays

Bill Cosby sexual assault retrial set to begin in Pennsylvania Bill Cosby's retrial delayed by dispute over whether a juror said he's guilty
Rosie Leonard | 10 April, 2018, 20:26

Yet three counts of aggravated indecent assault against Constand, who now lives in Canada, are the only criminal charges to stick, with most of the alleged abuse had occurred too long ago to prosecute.

As Cosby walked toward court, accompanied by two publicists and a police escort, Nicolle Rochelle climbed over a barrier and began shouting. The judge had barred the witness, Marguerite "Margo" Jackson, from testifying at the first trial.

She later told WHYY and NPR reporter Bobby Allyn that the goal of her protest was to "make Cosby uncomfortable, because that is exactly what he has been doing for decades to women".

Cosby's lawyers say her memories are tainted at best. In June, a Pennsylvania decide declared a mistrial after the jury introduced that they had been "hopelessly deadlocked" after deliberating for days. She was quickly wrestled to the ground by police and charged with disorderly conduct, prosecutors said.

Anticipating the defense, led by celebrity attorney Tom Mesereau, will likely try to discredit Constand's character and testimony, Steele reminded the jurors, "This is the Commowealth vs. William H. Cosby". "This practice happens to be one of the main tenets of the patriarchial system and Bill Cosby knows this particular practice well, wielding his power over the heads and bodies of women for decades and presently having the audacity to accuse his accusers of lying".

Mr Cosby called only one defence witness during the trial previous year, a detective who testified for just six minutes. Rochelle later said she was acting on behalf of Femen, a European women's movement whose members paint messages on their topless bodies to protest the patriarchy, and to reclaim the bodies of women who have been disempowered through sexual assault. I wanted him to feel what he did and have it be in his face.

The now frail and isolated 80-year-old could spend the rest of his life behind bars if convicted of drugging and molesting former university employee Andrea Constand at his Philadelphia home in 2004.

About a dozen other protesters also demonstrated outside the courthouse, an indication of how Cosby's profile has changed since he was one of America's most beloved entertainers.

Cosby's team will pick up with their opening arguments on Tuesday, but the settlement revelation capped off a wild first day of Cosby's retrial.

Nicolle Rochelle turned heads when she shockingly protested topless and got arrested outside of the courthouse during Bill Cosby's trial on April 9.

Rochelle has been outspoken about the allegations against Cosby, who's been accused by at least 60 women of drugging and sexually assaulting them. Mr Cosby has denied all wrongdoing and said his encounter with Ms Constand was consensual. More recently she garnered media attention after she staged a topless protest at the retrial of Bill Cosby for sexual assault in Norristown, Pennsylvania.

Before Cosby's last trial, which ended in a hung jury, Judge Steven O'Neill permitted the prosecution to read portions of deposition from the civil case in which Cosby admitted to giving women quaaludes before having sex with them. Last month the defense first demanded O'Neill recuse himself as judge, arguing in court papers that he could be seen as biased because his wife is a social worker who has described herself as an "advocate for assault victims".

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