Bill Cosby goes on trial, his freedom and legacy at stake

Bill Cosby goes on trial, his freedom and legacy at stake

The prosecution's opening witness was not the person Cosby is charged with abusing, but a woman who broke down in tears as she testified the comedian violated her in a hotel bungalow in Los Angeles.

After Nile's visit to the TV set, Cosby hooked Lyons up with an agent in NY, she said.

"I was trying to say something", she said. If convicted, Cosby, who is free on $1 million bail, faces up to 10 years in prison.

Bill Cosby, left, exits the courtroom during a break in his sexual assault trial inside the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pa., Monday, June 5, 2017.

They had wanted to call as many as 13 women who say Cosby sexually assaulted them - out of more than 60 accusers in all.

He disputed that Ms Constand - who was willing to be identified - was incapacitated, and made the case that she and Cosby, who was married, had a romantic relationship.

"At that moment he stole from that woman her sense of privacy, her sense of autonomy of her own body", Feden said. She asked if the pills were herbal and he said they were. "And I felt naked".

She said that she is praying for everyone involved. In that call, Johnson testified, Cosby claimed she was "ungrateful" over the career advice he had offered her and told her boss "to get rid of her".

Lead defense lawyer Brian McMonagle hopes to call a memory expert to challenge accusations he calls "nothing more than vague recollections".

Cosby appeared to appreciate McMonagle's grilling of Johnson, smiling and tapping his cane at the defense table.

Kelly Johnson said she held Cosby in the "highest regard and esteem" until he invited her for lunch and insisted she take a pill to "relax".

McMonagle dismissed her account, noting she only came forward in 2015.

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"I was very afraid because I have a secret about the biggest celebrity in the world at that time and it was just me, just me and my word against his", said Johnson.

"Trust, betrayal and the inability to consent - that's what this case is about", Feden said, as Cosby listened a few feet away, brows furrowed.

In opening statements, McMonagle launched an attack on Constand's credibility, saying she originally told police she had never been alone with Cosby before the assault, that she went to dinner with Cosby and other friends then went back to his house before the assault and that she had no contact with Cosby following the assault. He has denied the accusations since 2005 when Constand first went to the police.

Ms Constand, 44, of the Toronto area, is expected to take the stand this week and tell her story in public for the first time. Phylicia Rashad, who played Cosby's wife, Clair Huxtable, on The Cosby Show, also joined him for his court appearance.

"We think we really know them", she said.

He told the jury that, as a former prosecutor, he knows sexual assault is a awful crime, but "the only thing worse than that is the false accusation of sexual assault!"

According to his attorneys, Cosby answered questions in the deposition because the district attorney for Montgomery County at the time pledged he would not pursue criminal charges against him in the Constand case. She told reporters she was there to support her TV dad.

"Bill Cosby: An American Scandal" began with actress Lili Bernard telling the cameras that Cosby had threatened her life years ago: "He silenced me through the threats. he said, 'I will erase you, Bernard'". "What you worry about as the judge is that the lawyers don't showboat, the evidence gets presented fairly, and that you have a jury that does its job and is not being thrown into the whole milieu of the trial outside the courtroom". "It's not mine or anyone else's".

Cosby's image as a father and family man helped fuel his extraordinary, 50-year career in entertainment. He created TV characters, most notably Dr Cliff Huxtable, with crossover appeal among blacks and whites alike. The former college basketball manager says Cosby drugged and assaulted her in 2004.

McMonagle said that Constand changed the date of the encounter from mid-March to mid-January of 2004. He brought to the jury's attention the investigation conducted in 2005 by then-Montgomery County District Attorney Bruce Castor, who ultimately decided not to bring criminal charges against Cosby.

However, with the cases dating back many years, the statute of limitations for prosecuting Cosby had run out in almost every case.

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