Thursday 14 December 2017

Bill Cosby 'has already admitted sex assault', trial told

HIGH PROFILE CASE: Bill Cosby pictured earlier this year. Picture: Getty
HIGH PROFILE CASE: Bill Cosby pictured earlier this year. Picture: Getty
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Bill Cosby has already admitted sexually violating an unconscious woman more than a decade ago, the actor's sexual assault trial has been told.

Assistant District Attorney Kristen Feden's opening statement relied heavily on Cosby's past deposition testimony about his 2004 encounter with Andrea Constand, including admissions that he gave her pills and touched her intimately as she lay on his sofa.

Ms Feden said there is no better window into Cosby's motives and methods than his own words.

She told the jury at Montgomery County courthouse in Norristown, Philadelphia, that Ms Constand will give evidence, along with another woman who says Cosby drugged and assaulted her in a similar fashion in 1996.

Ms Feden said that in both cases, Cosby used his power and fame and a practised method of placing a young, trusting woman in an incapacitated state so he could pleasure himself sexually, "so that she couldn't say no".

Prosecutors had wanted to call as many as 13 of Cosby's more than 60 accusers as witnesses, but judge Steven O'Neill ruled only Ms Constand and the other woman can take the stand.

Bill Cosby arrives for his sexual assault trial at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pennsylvania (Matt Rourke/AP)
Bill Cosby arrives for his sexual assault trial at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pennsylvania (Matt Rourke/AP)

Read More: Bill Cosby: I do not expect to give evidence in sex assault trial

Cosby, 79, is charged with three counts of felony aggravated indecent assault and a conviction could put him in prison for the rest of his life.

The actor claims he had a romantic relationship with Ms Constand.

Ms Feden told jurors the case centres on three factors: trust, betrayal and Ms Constand's inability to consent.

Earlier, the judge opened proceedings by warning the jury not to read news updates about the case on their phones.

The jury is sequestered at a nearby hotel for the duration of the two-week case.

Read More: Three Bill Cosby accusers have distress claims dismissed

Cosby arrived at the court with actress Keshia Knight Pulliam, who played his youngest daughter, Rudy Huxtable, on The Cosby Show.

The pair walked arm-in-arm past dozens of cameras and into the building.

Cosby smiled but said nothing when someone asked how he was feeling.

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