*Well, the day is finally here.
Amid a media frenzy, Bill Cosby arrived at the courthouse in Montgomery County, PA at about 8:40 a.m. Monday (June 5) to begin trial on sexual assault. He was accompanied by his TV daughter Keshia Knight Pulliam, who played Rudy Huxtable on “The Cosby Show.”
Although dozens of women have come forward to say he had drugged and molested them, the trial involves just one of those complaints, that of former Temple University basketball staffer, Andrea Constand, 44, of the Toronto area. She will take the stand this week and tell her story in public for the first time.
Montgomery County Judge Steven T. O’Neill hopes to keep the media frenzy from influencing the case as it did at O.J. Simpson’s murder trial. The cameras that dominated Simpson’s trial aren’t allowed in Pennsylvania courtrooms, but scores of photographers will be lined up outside the courthouse. Like the Simpson case, the jury will be sequestered.
“We’ve had an O.J. hangover for many years,” said Loyola Law School professor Laurie Levenson. “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.”
Cosby’s lawyers have spent the past 18 months trying to have the criminal case thrown out. They say Cosby testified only after being promised he could never be charged. And they argue the delayed prosecution makes the case impossible to defend, given that witnesses have died, memories have faded and Cosby, they say, is blind.
Lead defense lawyer Brian McMonagle hopes to call a memory expert to challenge accusations he calls “nothing more than vague recollections.”
District Attorney Kevin Steele will be allowed to call one other accuser to suggest Cosby’s conduct with Constand was part of a “signature” crime pattern. She worked for Cosby’s agent at the William Morris Agency and says Cosby drugged and assaulted her in 1996 at a Los Angeles hotel.
Cosby and his family, ahead of the trial, have suggested the charges are fueled by racism. Some of his accusers, including the former William Morris employee, are black.