Bill Cosby Rape Trial Begins Today
Disgraced stand-up comic and actor Bill Cosby is set to make his first appearance in a Pennsylvania courtroom Monday over sexual assault charges stemming from a 2004 incident that allegedly took place at Cosby's home.
Opening statements made by Montgomery County prosecutor Kristen Feden scornfully paint Cosby as a predatory figure, who should be divorced from his popular media image, a man used his fame and influnce to take advantage of a young woman asking for his council. Members of Cosby's legal defense team used their opening statements to cast his accuser as an inconsistent liar motivated by greed.
“The only thing that is worse than [sexual assault] is the false accusation of sexual assault,” Cosby’s attorney, Brian McMonagle, said in opening statments Monday. “It’s an attack on human dignity.”
An employee of Temple University named Andrea Constand, of which Cosby resigned from its Board of Trustees, alleges that Cosby drugged and sexually assaulted her at his home in 2004. He settled Constand's civil suit in 2006 for an undisclosed amount of money after giving deposition testimony that became public in 2015.
According to the deposition, the then 66-year-old Cosby gave 30-year-old Constand three blue pills to alleviate stress before lying on the couch with her and engaging in sex acts. Feden revealed Monday that the state's attorneys plan to introduce evidence from medical professionals who will testify that Constand’s symptoms on the night of the alleged assault are consistent with the effects of Quaaludes. Cosby has stated that he acquired Quaaludes to give to women with whom he wanted to have sex; his legal representatives have said the drugs were for consensual use and were commonly used and abuse during the 1970s.
Cosby has plead not guilty and was released on bail for $1 million in December 2016. The former stand-up and creator of children's show "Fat Albert" is staring down a fine of up to $25,000 per each of three counts of felony aggravated indecent assault, and a maximum prison sentence of 10 years.
Cosby was walked up the courthouse steps Monday morning by his TV daughter Keisha Knight-Pulliam who played Rudy Huxtable on "The Cosby Show" through the 1980s and has supported him through his numerous sexual assault allegations. Other members of the Huxtable clan have been less forthcoming with their support of their TV Dad.