Bill Cosby’s Trial Begins Monday: What to Expect

By Trenisha Wiggins
The Birmingham Times

Bill Cosby arrives for a pretrial hearing in his sexual assault case at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pa., Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2016. Matt Rourke / AP
Bill Cosby arrives for a pretrial hearing in his sexual assault case at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pa., Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2016. Matt Rourke / AP

Comedian Bill Cosby, once considered by millions as “America’s Dad”, goes to court on Monday for the start of his sex assault trial. The trial will be held at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pennsylvania.

Of his 50 accusers, only two testimonials will be heard by the jury. Cosby’s will not be one of them.

Prosecutors had sought to include testimony from 13 other accusers, but Montgomery County Judge Steven O’Neill ruled that would be too prejudicial.

Although Cosby himself will not speak, prosecutors will be using part of his testimony in a 2005 lawsuit filed by his initial accuser, Andrea Constand.

Cameras will not be allowed in the Pennsylvania courtroom as Cosby enters court Monday, he faces three counts of aggravated indecent assault.

According to a complaint filed by Constand in 2005, Cosby allegedly drugged and fondled her at his home in Philadelphia.

Constand’s complaint was referred to Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, but District Attorney Bruce Castor decided not to press charges, finding the case “too weak to prosecute.”

Cosby avoided trial by settling the suit with Constand in 2006 but in 2015, after his deposition was released following a request from the Associated Press, the new district attorney Kevin Steele filed criminal charges late that year.

Steele is expected to call one other accuser to suggest Cosby’s relationship with Constand was part of a “signature crime” pattern. She says Cosby allegedly drugged and molested her in a Los Angeles hotel in 1996. She was a former emloyee of one of Cosby’s agents at the William Morris Agency.

Cosby’s lead defense lawyer, Brian McMonagle, will call a memory expert to the stand to prove the accusations are “nothing more than vague recollections.” Cosby’s family feel the charges are spawn from racism, although some of his accusers including the former William Morris employee are African American.

And they argue the delayed prosecution makes the case impossible to defend, given that witnesses have died, memories have faded and the 79-year-old Cosby, they say, is blind.

Cosby’s sitcoms were canceled and taken off air as well as a number of colleges and institutions cutting their ties.

The Associated Press and CNN contributed to this story.