Bill Cosby retrial: Jurors asked about #MeToo


The TV star who became known as America's dad will stand trial later, facing three counts of aggravated indecent assault.

Eight months after the case ended in a mistrial with jurors unable to reach a verdict, Bill Cosby will face the same accuser.

But this time it will be in a very different courtroom (in Norristown, Pennsylvania) and a very different world.

It is also the first major trial since the #MeToo movement took hold.

Andrea Constand alleges that the comedian drugged and sexually assaulted her at his home in 2004 when she was director of women's basketball at Temple University.

A judge has ruled that as many as five other women can testify alongside her this time.

The TV star denies the accusations against him and claims the relationship with Mrs Constand was consensual.

His defence team will be able to call on a witness who claims Mrs Constand talked about framing a celebrity and was motivated by money.

Image:Cosby and his new attorney Tom Mesereau, who also acted for Michael Jackson

Cosby is represented by a new lawyer, Tom Mesereau, who helped get Michael Jackson acquitted when he was accused of child molesting.

Mr Mesereau is expected to focus on the amount Mrs Constand was paid when she reached a settlement in a civil lawsuit in 2005.

The figure has never been disclosed.

In a pre-trial hearing, Mr Mesereau indicated that he would lay out a case to show jurors that Mrs Constand fabricated the story to make money.

More than 60 women have now accused Cosby of sexual misconduct and the cultural landscape has changed significantly since the allegations emerged.

That could prove challenging for both sides.

As well as new witnesses, there are already fresh tensions, with a showdown over race in the jury selection process.

The major disagreement came in a challenge from Cosby's lawyers, who claimed that the prosecution had objected to the inclusion of a black woman on the jury because of her race.

More from Pennsylvania

The make-up of the group will be the same as before though: seven men and five women, 10 white and two African American.

Jurors were asked whether they had formed opinions about Cosby's guilt or innocence in the highly publicised case, whether they were already too influenced by the #MeToo movement and allegations of sexual misconduct in the entertainment industry and whether they or a close family member had been a victim of a sexual assault.

Original Article


Sky News


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