Over two years Bill Cosby was shoved off his showbiz platform by an avalanche of accusations of sexual assault, the once-acclaimed comedy icon goes on trial in Pennsylvania Monday overdue to what happen in an encounter with one accuser over thirteen years ago.
Don’t except a rewind of the previous 32 months of salaciously toxic headlines about Bill Cosby’s alleged sexual conduct with many women dating back to the mid-1960s.
Rather, be expecting a trial as firmly focused as Judge Steven O’Neill could make it on what took place at Cosby’s suburban Philadelphia estate in January 2004, whilst a Temple University basketball official known as Andrea Constand arrived for dinner and career recommendation from her mentor, Cosby, a Temple alum.
Also, do not expect to see Cosby give evidence on the stand; he has stated he may not.
Don’t expect to watch the trial on Television, on Twitter or through live-stream; there may be no cameras in and no transmissions of any type from the courtroom.
However it will likely be included: more than 100 journalists from round the world signed up to observe the lawsuits within the courtroom and in a spill-over room in the courthouse in Norristown, Pa.
Bill Cosby will face a mostly-white jury of 7 men and five women (the two jurors are black) confiscated for a criminal trial that could be for 2 weeks, as envisaged by the legal practitioners in the case, or tons, a great deal longer. (There also are 6 alternates.)
However irrespective of the outcome — whether the jury finds him guilty or not guilty of 3 charges of infuriated indecent sexual assault — much is already clear: Cosby is a broken idol, completely shattered by way of accusations that he constantly drugged and and/or raped women he knew or met at a time whilst he was becoming, thanks To The Cosby Show, one of the most well-known, influential and liked figures in Hollywood.
Cosby also added, during the selective interviews he did earlier of the beginning of jury selection in May, that he wish to go back to his profession as a comedian and groundbreaking TV celebrity after the trial. But that is extremely unlikely, says Stuart Slotnick, a criminal defense lawyer who has been following the case and predicts it will not be easy to show for the prosecution.
“There is no resurgence for Bill Cosby, primarily based upon the huge range of reports of sexual abuse that the public has heard over the past numerous years,” says Slotnick. “It appears not possible he’s going to cross back to being Bill Cosby and recapture the days of past glory.”
Nonetheless, if he is found not guilty, Cosby, 79, nearly blind and in uncertain health, will at the least keep away from prison. But if he is convicted, he might get years at the behind bars. That will have to be enough for 5-dozen ladies who have come forward on the grounds since October 2014 to accuse Bill Cosby: It is too late for them to pursue him in criminal courtroom thanks to statutes of limitation.
Do expect that some of the accusers might be watching the trial, if not there in person, to give support to Constand. “I salute Andrea Constand for having the courage to see this through; she represents all of the accusers, and we’re all cheering for her,” says Lisa Bloom , the Los Angeles-based women’s rights legal practitioners who represents a Cosby accuser, ex-model Janice Dickinson.
Here is what else to expect in the Cosby trial:
Bill Cosby is charged with drugging after which molesting Constand, aged 44, after she visited him at his estate in Montgomery County. He stated that their encounter was consensual. She stated the encounter to police 12 months later. The then-district attorney declined to file charges, bringing up lack of proof and the time elapsed. so Constand filed a civil suit; it was settled in 2006 for an undisclosed sum, and sealed.
In October 2014, after a video of comedian Hannibal Buress calling out Cosby as a “rapist” in his stand-up show went viral, some women started going public with comparable tales of Cosby drugging and/or assaulting them. Then a deposition of Cosby for the Constand civil suit, wherein he admitted to acquiring drugs (qualudes) to give to women he sought for sex, was released by a judge inside the summer season of 2015, at the request of the Associated Press.
In December 2015, Local District Attorney Kevin Steele stated Bill Cosby’s unsealed deposition as “new evidence” when he filed the charges against Cosby, just weeks earlier than the statute of limitations was to expire.
In a he-stated-she-said case such as this, the complaining witness — Constand — will be the key witness. The prosecution sought to call on thirteen other accusers to testify to Cosby’s alleged “prior bad acts,” but Judge O’Neill has allowed only one to testify — regarded by using the pseudonym “Kacey” — after ruling that her story (similar to Constand’s in some details) can be heard by using the jury due to the fact its “probative” value outweighs any capability for unfair prejudice.
So the jury won’t listen to the tales under oath of the other dozen witnesses, not to mention all the ones who’ve accused Cosby. “(The Judge) gave the defendant a huge smash — it becomes a compromise weighted in favour of the defense and against the prosecution,” says James Cohen, a law professor at Fordham University in New York.
“Kacey,” who is represented through Gloria Allred, the women’s rights attorney, said as at January 2015 press conference arranged by Allred that she knew Cosby because she worked for his agent. She says she met Bill Cosby for lunch at the Hotel Bel-Air in 1996 to speak about her career ambitions. Whilst she arrived, Cosby, was dressed in a bathrobe, offered her wine and “a large white pill” to help her “loosen up,” that she took after he guaranteed her it was safe. She says she awakened in a bed next to Bill Cosby, who was found naked.
District Attorney Steele was elected in November 2015 after promising to pursue Bill Cosby under Pennsylvania’s strangely lengthy statute of limitations for sexual assault.
The prosecution’s case is anticipated to be based on a “three-legged stool,” in line with former Pennsylvania prosecutor Dennis McAndrews : Constand’s testimony, “Kacey’s” testimony and Cosby’s own words about his conduct with women as taken in his deposition.
“The most essential aspect of the case will be the credibility of the accuser,” says McAndrews. “If most jurors discover her to be credible the proof from the other two legs of the stool may be utilized by jurors who are tightly in favor of conviction to attempt to convince different jurors that (the prosecution) has verified its case beyond a reasonable doubt.”
Nonetheless, Steele is going to have a hard time, Cohen predicts. “He has to depend upon the second witness (“Kacey”), and he has to depend upon all of the different accusers, whom he can’t point out except the door is opened by means of twist of fate, after which that’s a potential trouble for Cosby,” Cohen says.
Allred agrees that the case “isn’t a slam dunk” for the prosecution. Proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt is always a challenge, she says, “but specifically for a prosecutor who is up in opposition to a rich and well-known movie star who can come up with the money to spend tens of millions on his defense.”
Bloom says there is one reality of the case that could help the prosecution. “I do assume that Cosby’s simultaneous admission to the police of sexual contact with Constand, who seems to be homosexual, is devastating for him.”
Cosby’s group is headed through Philadelphia attorney Brian McMonagle and Los Angeles Attorney Angela Agrusa. Their approach is probably to be based on the details in Constand’s story they agree with are holes that could result in reasonable doubt. As an example, he says, she instructed police she went to Cosby’s residence twice and that she left — embarrassed — after he touched her inappropriately the very first time. But then she returned he invited her to dinner.
“Her story is incredible on its face,” Slotnick says. “She was terrified victim of sexual abuse the first time, after which after he invites her back and tells they may be going to be alone, tells her to put on ‘comfortable clothing,’ she went back anyway? And he gives her pills to take and she does? Why would you return to a predator’s house whilst he has even told you something is going to happen of a sexual nature?… There are lots of questions, and that they add to reasonable doubt.”
Those are all “helpful pieces of evidence” that “argue strongly now not just for consent however reasonable doubt,” says Cohen.
“If most jurors do no longer find (Constand) to be credible, the other two legs of the stool are unlikely to sway the jury toward conviction, and a finding of reasonable doubt turns into more likely,” says McAndrews.
The other attorneys
Bill Cosby case is bunged up with attorneys. In addition the prosecution and defense lawyers (Cosby has employed a couple of lawyers since 2014), there are half-dozen other legal practitioners who constitute a number of the other accusers who’ve filed civil suits towards Cosby’s former lawyers have lawyers. Still Cosby’s former legal practitioners have lawyers. For some time, Cosby had a legal practitioner, Monique Pressley, whose job included going on TV to defend him.
Allred is the main player in this crowd: she represents greater than 30 of the Bill Cosby accusers. Whilst she may be within the court whilst her client “Kacey” testifies, she will be able to have no formal position in the lawsuits. However she’s in no way been shy about talking to the media about the case outdoor the court.
Furthermore, she has used the Bill Cosby case as Exhibit A in her ongoing effort to change state rape laws. Thus, she is helped persuade California, Colorado and Nevada legislatures to both cast off or extend statutes of limitation on certain rape and child molestation instances, so that accusers can pursue defendants in criminal court years after alleged assaults .