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A protester is detained as Bill Cosby arrives for his sexual assault trial at the Montgomery County Courthouse.

NORRISTOWN, Pa. (AP) — A topless protester with “Women’s Lives Matter” written on her body in red ink charged at Bill Cosby as he walked into a suburban Philadelphia courthouse Monday for the start of his sexual assault retrial.

The woman jumped over a barricade and launched toward Cosby but was intercepted by sheriff’s deputies. She was taken into custody and led away in handcuffs.

Cosby seemed startled by the commotion as protesters chanted at him, but was not touched and is uninjured.

The unidentified woman was among about a half dozen people chanting in support of Cosby’s accuser. She had “Women’s Lives Matter” written in red ink on her chest and stomach along with other phrases in black and red all over her body.

Opening arguments are scheduled to begin Monday morning and prosecutors have lined up a parade of accusers to make the case that the man revered as “America’s Dad” lived a double life as one of Hollywood’s biggest predators.

Cosby’s retrial likely won’t be anything like his first one. He’s fighting back with a new, high-profile lawyer and an aggressive strategy: attacking Andrea Constand as a greedy liar and casting the other women testifying as bandwagon accusers looking for a share of the spotlight.

“You’ve seen previews and coming attractions, but things have changed,” said professor Laurie Levenson of Loyola Law School in Los Angeles.

Cosby’s first trial last spring ended in a cliffhanger, with jurors unable to reach a unanimous verdict after five days of tense deliberations on charges that the man who made millions of viewers laugh as wise and understanding Dr. Cliff Huxtable on “The Cosby Show” drugged and molested Constand at his suburban Philadelphia home in 2004.

The 80-year-old comedian, who has said the sexual contact was consensual, faces three counts of aggravated indecent assault, each punishable by up to 10 years in prison. Opening statements are scheduled to begin Monday in a suburban Philadelphia courtroom.

His retrial is taking place in a radically changed and potentially more hostile environment. The #MeToo movement caught fire four months after the first trial, raising awareness of sexual misconduct as it toppled Harvey Weinstein, Sen. Al Franken, Matt Lauer and other powerful men.

Nearly every potential juror questioned for the case this time knew about #MeToo.

Kristen Houser of the National Sexual Violence Resource Center said that could help prosecutors overcome the skepticism some jurors had last time about Constand’s yearlong wait to report her allegations to the police.

“The #MeToo movement is amplifying what experts have been saying for decades: People are ashamed, they’re confused, they can’t believe somebody they trust would hurt them, and then they worry that others won’t believe them,” Houser said.

After limiting the focus of the first trial, Judge Steven O’Neill has been willing to let both sides push the retrial well beyond Constand’s allegations.

This time, O’Neill is letting prosecutors have five additional accusers testify — including model Janice Dickinson — as they attempt to show Cosby made a habit of drugging and violating women. The judge allowed just one other accuser to take the stand last time.

“This one will be harder for the defense,” Levenson said. This time, Constand “is not alone, and there is strength in numbers.”

In another difference, the judge this time is letting Cosby’s legal team call as a witness a former co-worker of Constand’s at Temple University who said Constand spoke of setting up a “high-profile person” so she could sue and enjoy a big payday. Constand’s lawyer has said the co-worker is lying.

The judge also decided the jury can hear the answer to one of the biggest questions hanging over the case: How much did Cosby pay Constand to settle her lawsuit against him more than a decade ago? The two sides agreed at the first trial not to mention the lawsuit.

Cosby lawyer Tom Mesereau, who won an acquittal in Michael Jackson’s 2005 child molestation case, said the jury will learn “just how greedy” Constand was.

In a twist, the judge hinted that he might not allow jurors to hear Cosby’s lurid deposition testimony about giving quaaludes to women before sex. He said he would rule on it during the trial. Cosby testified in 2005 and 2006 as part of Constand’s lawsuit.

Cosby did not take the stand at the first trial and is unlikely to do so this time.

Opening statements could be delayed while O’Neill sorts out allegations raised late Friday that a juror was heard saying he thought Cosby was guilty. Cosby’s lawyers want the man questioned and removed from the case. They also want other jurors questioned to see if they were influenced by the man’s alleged comment. Before being picked, all jurors swear under oath that they would be fair and impartial.

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

Over the past few years, about 60 women have come forward with allegations against Cosby dating to the 1960s. Netflix shelved his comedy special, NBC scrapped plans for a new sitcom, and reruns of “The Cosby Show” were pulled from the air.

Cosby has performed only once since ending a tour amid hecklers and protests in May 2015. He joked at a surprise Philadelphia jazz club appearance in January that he “used to be a comedian.”

Even if Cosby is acquitted, he will never win back his reputation, crisis communications expert David La Torre said.

“In some cases, being tried in the court of public opinion is far more damaging than the court of law,” La Torre said. “That’s certainly the case here.”

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(AP Photo/Corey Perrine)

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18 thoughts on “Topless Protester Charges At Bill Cosby As Retrial Begins

  1. Mac Daddy on said:

    Look Peeps, we all know Cosby is guilty. There are just too many victims with similar stories. Let’s be honest with ourselves, are you defending him because it’s a “black thing”? If so, you need to take a long hard look at the direction of your moral compass

    • Mac Daddy, you do not know no more than anyone else. Do you think he is guilty because he is black? At this point we do not know what is true or not. Just let it play out in court.

  2. Tom Mesaur is a good lawyer whom I have seen in action. If anyone is lying, Tom will pull the truth out. Tom made witnesses admit they lied on Michael Jackson on the stand even the accuser admitted on the stand why he was made at MJ, which was ” I could not go back to Neverland and MJ was suppose to be my friend”. Now if someone was abusing you, why would you want to go back to his home”. The boy was BUSTED and his mother was pure conartist that Tom did not even have to cross examine her. To even let the 1993 case and settlement come in and he brought that case down even showing the 1993 case was LIE (many who thught MJ was guilty change their minds after seeing the FACTS that TOm brought out. We will see with Bill what is true or false.

    • Amber on said:

      One thing MJ case proved was do not judge a case based on public view, talking to tabloids, and what people claim(yes, people do crimes but people also lie even more in this day and age to get money even if it is a lie. It is the new Lottery), FIGHT IT IN COURT so we can hear and see the FACTS; NOT BIAS Opinions on what people THINK they know (both ways).

  3. After Janice Dickinson testifies, the defense should play her interview with Howard Stern all those years ago. The one where she said she loves screwing rich men for money or no money.

    • Tiana Nonbasic on said:

      Yes I saw that interview she was a wild one and I believe she loves the lime-light sooo much that she will say and do anything to be in it. She said herself you must stay Relevant. Sad.

  4. Ebony on said:

    I support Bill Cosby and his family. I think that these women were at one time Party Girls and because of his Fame he may have given them money so that they would not ruin his career they in my point of view got paid to party. Now that they are older and they’ve gone through their money or and or he has decided not to give them any more money dates we’ve a story of being taken advantage of but I can’t see that happening when that is the lifestyle that you lived you lived a party lifestyle that put yourself in the position to have sex drugs and rock and roll with the Stars. As for the other women in today’s world that are accusing producers directors actors same thing why didn’t you say anything when it was happening they only say these things after they’ve gotten the job and the checks are cashed. I have no problem with someone who does what they need to do to get a job my problem is don’t make like you don’t have common sense or intelligence to say no you made a deal which probably was I like you you like me I want a job what do I have to do to get the job and they did it and now years later they want to say they were taken advantage of really stop the madness. To the topless lady let’s show more black on black love instead of gathering with others to hate on us.

  5. Mia.P on said:

    I hope she do that to trump remember he have women accusing him also but I bet she won’t we are our own worst enemies. Black people wake up please

    • Tiana Nonbasic on said:

      Yes she is a disgrace. SMH!!! Trump has paid off so many accusers and that is sickening to have this wack-job REAL Womanizer in Office representing US as a Nation. It’s embarrassing. I will never believe ANY of these Bill Cosby accusers its clear this is a “Smear Campaign” to stop him from starting his own network. Cosby was in the works to start his own network and they wanted him to do a return of the Cosby show and he did not and then allegations started to surface immediately after his decline to do what Hollywood wanted him to do. COINCIDENCE??? I think not.

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