Cosby judge weighs drug, sex assault experts as trial nears

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Bill Cosby goes on trial Monday in suburban Philadelphia in a sexual assault case that will largely rest on the testimony of one woman: Andrea Constand. Cosby was a mentor and friend to the former Temple University basketball team staffer.

COURTHOUSE The next episode in the saga of television sitcom star Bill Cosby will be a drama of the legal kind - his fight against charges he sexually assaulted a woman at his Cheltenham mansion in 2004.

The trial is expected to last about two weeks.

Months later, a federal judge granted an Associated Press motion to unseal parts of his deposition. "We will do the best we can to start this at 9:30". Yet friends say she is ready to face Cosby and the crush of media in the courtroom.

Cosby, 79, was accompanied by an unidentified assistant who helped the comedian to his plane as he used a cane.

His accuser, Andrea Constand, alleges that he drugged her and raped her during an encounter at Cosby's home near Philadelphia in 2004. Constand didn't report the incident to police until January 2005, about a year after it allegedly occurred.

But Cosby avoided a trial by negotiating a confidential settlement with Constand in 2006.

The comedy icon will go on trial Monday for sexual assault, a crime that could land him in prison for 10 years if he is convicted.

"She's the only one who found the fortitude to press charges against him within the statute of limitations".

Although she's kept mostly quiet regarding the allegations of almost 60 women who say Cosby drugged and assaulted them, Rashad said in a 2015 interview that she believed her friend was the victim of a scheme to end his career. Steele, a Democrat, was running to succeed her while she ran for judge. In a 30-second television ad, Steele attacked Castor for not charging Cosby in 2005 when Constand first claimed Cosby sexually assaulted her. His opponent was Bruce Castor, the prosecutor who had decided not to charge Cosby in 2005.

Steele defeated Castor in the November 3, 2015, election. A half-dozen other defense lawyers on the case have come and gone, including sometime Cosby spokeswoman Monique Pressley. Cosby's lawyers claimed the 2005 agreement was made for the express goal of inducing Cosby to testify in Constand's civil litigation against him, removing from him the ability to claim his Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination, thus forcing him to sit for a deposition under oath in the civil case over the course of four days between September 2005 and March 2006. Like the Simpson case, the Cosby jury will be sequestered. According to his deposition, he gave her three blue pills to alleviate stress before lying on the couch with her and engaging in sex acts. One thing they don't talk about is Cosby, the older woman said.

Cosby, Temple's most famous booster and trustee, first spied Constand from across the school gym in 2002.

O'Neill ultimately rejected Cosby's claim that he had a valid non-prosecution promise from Castor and moved Cosby's criminal case forward.

Regardless of the outcome of the trial, Cosby, who was once a revered figure in American pop culture, has been disgraced by a slew of allegations from women who have come forward to make similar accusations. Prosecutors argued the testimony was relevant "to establish a common plan, scheme or design" for the jury. "She would prepare for a championship game like no other", Motsinger said.

Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele was the top deputy in the office in July 2015 when Cosby's deposition was released and then-boss Risa Vetri Ferman chose to reopen Constand's 2005 police complaint. Defense lawyers argued that such testimony would be unfairly prejudicial to Cosby. McMonagle is now joined at the defense table by Angela Agrusa, a Los Angeles lawyer who is also handling at least six lawsuits pending across the country between Cosby and various accusers.