Rape trial for Bill Cosby begins

Longtime entertainer Bill Cosby, 79, entered the Montgomery County courtroom in Pennsylvania Monday morning as his trial finally began over charges of rape in 2004 by alleged victim Andrea Constand.

In the first criminal case ever filed against him, Cosby was charged in late 2015 with raping Constand, 44, at his home in 2004. Constand alleged that she went to Cosby’s home in January 2004 after a night out with friends, where he drugged and sexually assaulted her. She is expected to take the stand later in the week.

Also expected to testify this week is another alleged victim, known as “Prior Alleged Victim Six”, or “Kasey”, who has claimed Cosby drugged and sexually assaulted her in 1996 at a hotel in Bel-Air. She is reportedly the former assistant to Cosby’s former agent Tom Illius, who is now deceased.

The case is expected to rival the high-profile celebrity trial of O.J. Simpson. “Bill Cosby’s criminal trial is the celebrity criminal trial of the new 21st century. In many ways, Cosby is a far more luminous public figure than O.J. Simpson; he was a national treasure, a beloved icon, and a revered pioneer for Black Americans,” Hollywood litigator Pierce O’Donnell of the LA. firm Greenberg Glusker said.

The jury is reportedly made up of seven men and five women, including two African-Americans.

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