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POSTED AT 04:51 PM 09-04-2018

Cosby back on trial for sexual assault

Image Courtesy: Daily Express

Disgraced US megastar comedian Bill Cosby returns to trial Monday for alleged sexual assault, a tougher legal fight the second time around and the most high-profile criminal case so far in a #MeToo world.

The now frail and isolated 80-year-old could spend the rest of his life behind bars if convicted of drugging and molesting former university employee Andrea Constand at his Philadelphia home in 2004.

The pioneering black entertainer's first trial ended in a hung jury on June 17, with a sequestered panel hopelessly deadlocked after six days of testimony and 52 hours of deliberations.

The case forever tarnished the legacy of an actor once adored by millions as "America's Dad" for his seminal role as a lovable father and obstetrician on hit 1984-92 television series "The Cosby Show."

In recent years, some 60 women have accused the Emmy winner, who today claims to be legally blind, of being a serial predator, alleging that he drugged and assaulted them over a span of 40 years.

Yet three counts of aggravated indecent assault against Constand, who now lives in Canada, are the only criminal charges to stick, with most of the alleged abuse having occurred too long ago to prosecute.

But the second trial is likely to be dramatically different from the first when opening statements begin at the courthouse in the Philadelphia suburb of Norristown.

Judge Steven O'Neill has agreed to let five other Cosby accusers testify, compared to just one the last time, handing a major victory to prosecutors, who will seek to paint Cosby as a serial predator.

AFP

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