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Cosby Trial Day 1: Comedian Allegedly Paid Accuser $3.4 Million in 2006
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Summary: Monday was the first day of the Bill Cosby criminal retrial. 

Monday was the beginning of the Bill Cosby criminal retrial, and USA Today said that a prosecutor revealed that an accuser had been paid nearly $3.4 million almost a dozen years ago to settle her sexual assault claim.

  
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Cosby, the star of the beloved 1980s sitcom The Cosby Show, has been accused of drugging and sexually assaulting dozens of women over several decades, and he is facing a criminal trial over the alleged sexual assault of Andrea Constand.

Constand said she met Cosby at his home in 2004 and that the TV star drugged and then sexually assaulted her when she was unconscious. Constand, a former Temple University employee, privately settled the dispute for a previously undisclosed sum in 2006, but in 2016, a Pennsylvania prosecutor decided to try Cosby for criminal charges for the alleged incident.

Constand’s case is the only criminal case that was able to be prosecuted under various states’ statute of limitations, but Cosby is facing numerous civil cases from women who said that he had defamed their characters when he denied their rape charges.

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Cosby’s first criminal trial was last year, and it resulted in a hung jury.

Cosby’s high profile retrial started off with spectacle when a topless anti-Cosby protestor appeared, causing a flurry of attention. Media outlets stated later that the protestor was Nicolle Rochelle, 39, who had appeared on the Cosby Show between 1990 and 1992. She was later charged with disorderly conduct, according to PEOPLE.



“The main goal was to make Cosby uncomfortable because that is exactly what he has been doing for decades to women, and to show him that the body can be aggressive and empowered,” Rochelle said.

Prosecutors and the defense gave their opening statements on Monday afternoon, and the prosecution revealed that Cosby had paid Constand nearly $3.4 million in 2006 to settle her claim that Cosby had drugged and molested her. Prosecutors argued that he would not have paid out so much money unless he had a reason to.

Cosby claimed that the sex he had with Constand was consensual, and at his first trial, his lawyers argued that Constand had continued a professional relationship with him after the alleged incident, causing doubt of her credibility in the minds of some jurors.

USA Today said that the majority of Monday’s trial was spent behind closed doors discussing whether or not a member of the juror had improperly blabbed about the case before the trial started. After hours of debate and questioning, Judge Steven O’Neill of Norristown, Pennsylvania allowed this juror to stay, ruling he believed the juror could maintain impartiality and fairness.

What do you think of the Cosby retrial? Let us know in the comments below.



 

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