Cosby's image as father, family man on the line at sex trial

Santa Clara Police Department Tramaine Brock

Santa Clara Police Department Tramaine Brock

While dozens of women have accused comedian Bill Cosby of sexual harassment, wiping out his "America's Dad" reputation, his future depends exclusively on one particular accuser - Andread Constad - as his trial begins Monday in Norristown, Pennsylvania. He was accompanied by his TV daughter Keshia Knight Pulliam, who played Rudy Huxtable on "The Cosby Show". Knight Pulliam was quoted as saying that "truth happens here", an expression of solidarity for the man who once played her father. He has denied the accusations since 2005, when Constand first went to the police.

Cosby is on trial on charges he assaulted Andrea Constand, a former employee of Temple University's basketball program, at his suburban Philadelphia mansion in 2004.

In an interview with police, Cosby said that the pills he gave Constand were over-the-counter Benadryl. The trial is expected to last two weeks. In later years, Cosby became a public moralizer, speaking out against what he saw as the failings of African-American community in raising children.

The defense will seek to undermine Constand´s credibility by highlighting her delay in coming forward and apparent willingness to continue to meet Cosby after the incident. He could get 10 years in prison if convicted.

The prosecution's opening witness was not the person Cosby is charged with violating, but another woman, who broke down in tears as she testified that the comedian abused her in the mid-1990s at a hotel bungalow in Los Angeles.

"I don't condone sexual assault in any way, shape or form, but, at the end of the day, our court system is set up. you're innocent until proven guilty", she said.

Cosby and his agents, as they had with other women, offered Constand money for school when her mother, Gianna, called to confront him in January 2006.

No - Mr Cosby has said he will not testify and last month told Sirius-XM radio that he feared prosecution lawyers could twist his words on the stand.

The 12-member jury, which was selected from the Pittsburgh area, includes seven men and five women, along with six alternates.

"I'm not going to predict what the outcome is", Allred said.

Cosby's lawyers have questioned why she went to the bungalow.

Feden said Constand had gone to Cosby's home in Cheltenham to discuss her career, and he gave her some blue pills to help her relax.

Her case was reopened in 2015 by Montgomery County prosecutor Kevin Steele, who claimed new evidence had come to light, at a time that United States airwaves were flooded with allegations of other sexual assaults by Cosby.

Bill Cosby enters a courtroom for a hearing where his lawyers are expected to renew their battle with prosecutors over whether more than a dozen female accusers can testify at his criminal sexual trial next year, in Norristown, Pennsylvania, December 13, 2016.

The judge is allowing Kacey to testify only to show a pattern of behavior by Cosby or to undercut any defense claims that he may not have understood Constand was unable to consent; jurors are not allowed to consider what Kacey's story says about Cosby's character.

Cosby says he had a romantic relationship with her.

His wife was absent as the TV star, using a wooden cane, made his way past dozens of cameras into the courthouse.

Cosby and his family, ahead of the trial, have suggested the charges are fueled by racism. Such experts were not permitted until 2012 in Pennsylvania, which was the last USA state to allow such testimony. 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.

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