The Latest: Additional accuser takes stand at Cosby retrial

The Latest: Additional accuser takes stand at Cosby retrial
The Associated Press

NORRISTOWN, Pa. (AP) — The Latest on the Bill Cosby sexual assault retrial (all times local):

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5:50 p.m.

Jurors at Bill Cosby’s suburban Philadelphia sexual-assault retrial are hearing from a Colorado music teacher who says the comedian knocked her out with a potent glass of wine and forced her to perform oral sex when she was an aspiring actress in 1984.

Heidi Thomas took the witness stand on Tuesday. She’s the first of five additional accusers whom prosecutors plan to call as they make the case that Cosby has a history of drugging and assaulting women.

Thomas says she met Cosby in Reno, Nevada, after her agent arranged for him to give her acting tips. She says Cosby assaulted her after she took a sip of white wine he had given her.

Defense lawyers are cross-examining her.

Cosby is charged with drugging and assaulting another woman in 2004. He says the encounter was consensual.

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12:55 p.m.

Prosecutors in the Bill Cosby retrial have called a sexual assault expert to help them blunt any skepticism about his accuser’s behavior after she says he drugged and molested her in 2004.

Psychiatrist Barbara Ziv was the first witness to testify at Cosby’s retrial Tuesday.

She told jurors that it’s common for victims to be reluctant to go to police and normal for them to maintain contact with perpetrators.

Andrea Constand spoke with Cosby and saw him after the alleged assault at his suburban Philadelphia home, and waited more than a year before going to police with her allegations.

Cosby says his sexual encounter with Constand was consensual.

The Associated Press doesn’t typically identify people who say they’re victims of sexual assault unless they grant permission, which Constand has done.

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10:45 a.m.

Bill Cosby’s lawyer has launched a fierce attack on the comedian’s accuser, calling her a con artist who took advantage of Cosby’s grief and loneliness over his son’s murder to gain his trust before framing him for sexual assault.

Lawyer Tom Mesereau delivered a blistering opening statement Tuesday in Cosby’s retrial.

He told jurors that accuser Andrea Constand wasn’t attracted to Cosby, but was “madly in love” with his fame and money.

He says she “hit the jackpot” when he paid her $3.4 million to settle a civil lawsuit over allegations he drugged and molested her in 2004.

Prosecutors say it was Cosby who betrayed Constand’s trust by giving her pills and then assaulting her.

Cosby faces three counts of aggravated indecent assault, each punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

The Associated Press doesn’t typically identify people who say they’re victims of sexual assault unless they grant permission, which Constand has done.

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8:30 a.m.

Comedian Bill Cosby has arrived for the second day of his sexual assault retrial amid heightened security.

Security was stepped up on Tuesday outside of the courthouse in suburban Philadelphia after a topless protester jumped over a barricade on Monday and ran toward Cosby.

Cosby was escorted into the courthouse by an attorney and his spokesman and surrounded by five sheriff’s deputies.

Another row of barricades was also added to the walkway.

Monday’s protester did not reach Cosby and he was unharmed. She was a member of a European feminist group known for staging topless protests and appeared as a child on “The Cosby Show.”

Cosby lawyer is set to deliver his opening statement on Tuesday.

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1 a.m.

The defense in Bill Cosby’s sexual assault retrial is expected to use its opening statement to portray a hefty settlement paid to the woman he’s charged with sexually assaulting as evidence of her greed.

Cosby lawyer Tom Mesereau is set to deliver his remarks on Tuesday.

Prosecutors opened the retrial on Monday in suburban Philadelphia with an answer to one of the case’s biggest questions. But they failed to make clear why jurors should care that the comedian paid a $3.4 million settlement to accuser Andrea Constand.

Mesereau has indicated he intends to use the settlement to argue that Constand falsely accused Cosby in hopes of landing a big payoff.

The Associated Press does not typically identify people who say they are victims of sexual assault unless they grant permission, which Constand has done.

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