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The Latest: Cosby wants to raise accuser’s criminal past

The Latest: Cosby wants to raise accuser's criminal past
The Associated Press

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

9:30 a.m.

Bill Cosby’s lawyers are arguing in court at his sexual assault retrial that jurors should hear about an accuser’s criminal past so they can fully assess her credibility.

Cosby lawyer Jaya Gupta told a judge Wednesday that Chelan Lasha’s 2007 guilty plea for making a false report to Arizona law enforcement “bears on her veracity.”

State law bars talk of witness convictions more than a decade old, but Gupta argued Lasha’s conviction should be an exception since her allegations against Cosby date to 1986.

Assistant District Attorney Stewart Ryan argued the defense will get a chance to test Lasha’s credibility when she’s cross-examined.

The judge has yet to rule.

Lasha is one of five additional accusers who are being allowed to testify in the retrial.

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8:45 a.m.

Comedian Bill Cosby has arrived for the third day of his sexual assault retrial.

Cosby walked into the suburban Philadelphia courthouse on Wednesday morning.

Spokesman Andrew Wyatt cited Cosby’s defense attorney’s opening statement Tuesday blasting his accuser. He says that the truth will be shown in court and Cosby will be vindicated.

The first of five additional accusers against Cosby is continuing her testimony in court Wednesday.

Heidi Thomas told jurors on Tuesday that Cosby knocked her out with wine and forced her to perform oral sex in Reno, Nevada, in 1984.

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

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12:10 a.m.

Prosecutors are rallying from a blistering defense attack on Bill Cosby’s chief accuser with a parade of women who say the comedian drugged and attacked them long before he allegedly assaulted Andrea Constand at his suburban Philadelphia home in 2004.

The first of the five women, Heidi Thomas, returns to the witness stand on Wednesday. She told jurors on Tuesday that Cosby knocked her out with wine and forced her to perform oral sex in Reno, Nevada, in 1984.

The women could help prosecutors insulate Constand from the defense’s contention that she’s a “con artist.”

Defense lawyer Tom Mesereau said in an opening statement that Constand framed him to score a big payday.

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

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