Speed Reads

Bill Cosby Trial

Bill Cosby sexual assault retrial scheduled to begin Monday

The retrial of Andrea Constand's sexual assault case against comedian Bill Cosby is scheduled to begin with opening statements in a suburban Philadelphia courtroom Monday. The first trial ended in a hung jury in June 2017, but there is a new jury of seven men and five women, 10 of the jurors white and two black, plus some other significant changes from the initial trial.

Cosby has a new lead attorney, Tom Mesereau, who is most famous for winning an acquittal for Michael Jackson in a 2005 child molestation case; Mesereau says he will aggressively attack Contsand, who says Cosby drugged and sexually abused her in 2004. Prosecutors will be able to call five additional women to testify about Cosby also allegedly drugging and sexually assaulting them, including former model Janice Dickinson — Judge Steven O'Neill allowed only one other purported Cosby victim to testify in the last trial — and O'Neill is allowing Cosby's team to call a former coworker who is expected to claim that Constand talked about setting up a "high-profile person" to sue. O'Neill may also allow jurors to hear Cosby's deposition from Constand's civil suit, in which he admits to giving women quaaludes before sex. And, of course, the MeToo movement has shifted attitudes about sexual misconduct by powerful men.

Cosby's team has asked that Juror No. 11 be dismissed or talked to, amid reports that he was overheard saying he already thinks Cosby is guilty, potentially setting back opening statements. If convicted, Cosby, 80, faces up to 10 years in prison.