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Bill Cosby goes on trial, his freedom and legacy at stake

Associated Press logo Associated Press 6/5/2017 By MARYCLAIRE DALE, Associated Press
ADDS NAME - Bill Cosby arrives for his sexual assault trial with Keshia Knight Pulliam, right, at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pa., Monday, June 5, 2017. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke) © The Associated Press ADDS NAME - Bill Cosby arrives for his sexual assault trial with Keshia Knight Pulliam, right, at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pa., Monday, June 5, 2017. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

NORRISTOWN, Pa. (AP) — Accompanied into the courthouse by a member of the TV family who cemented his nice-guy image as America's Dad, Bill Cosby went on trial Monday on sexual assault charges, his legacy and his freedom on the line.

Bill Cosby arrives for his sexual assault trial at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pa., Monday, June 5, 2017. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke) © The Associated Press Bill Cosby arrives for his sexual assault trial at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pa., Monday, June 5, 2017. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Cosby, 79, is accused of drugging and violating an employee of Temple University's basketball program at his suburban Philadelphia mansion in 2004. The comedian could get 10 years in prison if convicted.

Bill Cosby arrives for his sexual assault trial with Keshia Knight Pulliam, right, at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pa., Monday, June 5, 2017. (David Maialetti/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP, Pool) © The Associated Press Bill Cosby arrives for his sexual assault trial with Keshia Knight Pulliam, right, at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pa., Monday, June 5, 2017. (David Maialetti/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP, Pool)

His wife was absent as the TV star, using a wooden cane, hobbled past dozens of cameras into the courthouse. He chatted with actress Keshia Knight Pulliam, who played his daughter Rudy on the top-rated "Cosby Show," as they walked together.

ADDS NAME - Bill Cosby arrives for his sexual assault trial with Keshia Knight Pulliam, right, at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pa., Monday, June 5, 2017. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke) © The Associated Press ADDS NAME - Bill Cosby arrives for his sexual assault trial with Keshia Knight Pulliam, right, at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pa., Monday, June 5, 2017. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Cosby smiled but said nothing when someone asked how he was feeling.

Bill Cosby arrives for his sexual assault trial at the Montgomery County Courthouse, Monday, June 5, 2017 in Norristown, Pa. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum) © The Associated Press Bill Cosby arrives for his sexual assault trial at the Montgomery County Courthouse, Monday, June 5, 2017 in Norristown, Pa. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Judge Steven T. O'Neill instructed the jurors for an hour, reminding them not to glance at news updates on their cellphones. The jury was selected in the Pittsburgh area because of the heavy publicity surrounding the case and is sequestered at a hotel for the duration of the trial, expected to last two weeks.

Bill Cosby arrives for his sexual assault trial at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pa., Monday, June 5, 2017. More than a decade after Cosby invited a college basketball manager to his home to discuss her career, the comedian goes on trial in the only criminal case to emerge from the dozens of sexual assault allegations lodged against him. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke) © The Associated Press Bill Cosby arrives for his sexual assault trial at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pa., Monday, June 5, 2017. More than a decade after Cosby invited a college basketball manager to his home to discuss her career, the comedian goes on trial in the only criminal case to emerge from the dozens of sexual assault allegations lodged against him. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Prosecutors and the defense were to give their opening statements later in the day.

Bill Cosby arrives for his sexual assault trial at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pa., Monday, June 5, 2017. More than a decade after Cosby invited a college basketball manager to his home to discuss her career, the comedian goes on trial in the only criminal case to emerge from the dozens of sexual assault allegations lodged against him. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke) © The Associated Press Bill Cosby arrives for his sexual assault trial at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pa., Monday, June 5, 2017. More than a decade after Cosby invited a college basketball manager to his home to discuss her career, the comedian goes on trial in the only criminal case to emerge from the dozens of sexual assault allegations lodged against him. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Cosby's accuser, Andrea Constand, 44, of the Toronto area, is expected to take the stand this week and tell her story in public for the first time.

FILE - In this combination of file photos, entertainer Bill Cosby pauses during an interview in Washington on Nov. 6, 2014, and Andrea Constand poses for a photo in Toronto on Aug. 1, 1987. Cosby goes on trial Monday, June 5, 2017, in suburban Philadelphia in a sexual assault case that will largely rest on the testimony of Constand. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, left, and Ron Bull/Toronto Star/The Canadian Press via AP, right) © The Associated Press FILE - In this combination of file photos, entertainer Bill Cosby pauses during an interview in Washington on Nov. 6, 2014, and Andrea Constand poses for a photo in Toronto on Aug. 1, 1987. Cosby goes on trial Monday, June 5, 2017, in suburban Philadelphia in a sexual assault case that will largely rest on the testimony of Constand. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, left, and Ron Bull/Toronto Star/The Canadian Press via AP, right)

The jury consists of seven men and five women. Two members are black. Cosby has suggested that the accusations against him may be racially motivated.

FILE - This Oct. 25, 1982 file photo shows comedian, actor and author Bill Cosby. On Monday, June 5, 2017, Cosby goes on trial on sexual assault charges stemming from a 2004 encounter at his home near Philadelphia. (AP Photo) © The Associated Press FILE - This Oct. 25, 1982 file photo shows comedian, actor and author Bill Cosby. On Monday, June 5, 2017, Cosby goes on trial on sexual assault charges stemming from a 2004 encounter at his home near Philadelphia. (AP Photo)

Cosby built a good-guy reputation as a father and family man, on screen and off, during his extraordinary 50-year career in entertainment. He created TV characters, most notably Dr. Cliff Huxtable, with crossover appeal among blacks and whites alike. His TV shows, films and comedy tours earned him an estimated $400 million.

FILE - In this Thursday, May 2, 2002 file photo, members of Bill Cosby's television family, the Huxtables, gather in NBC's Today show studio for an interview with co-host Katie Couric, in New York. From left are Sabrina Le Beauf, Tempest Bledsoe, Cosby, Keshia Knight Pulliam, Phylicia Rashad, Raven Symone and Malcolm-Jamal Warner. (AP Photo/Richard Drew) © The Associated Press FILE - In this Thursday, May 2, 2002 file photo, members of Bill Cosby's television family, the Huxtables, gather in NBC's Today show studio for an interview with co-host Katie Couric, in New York. From left are Sabrina Le Beauf, Tempest Bledsoe, Cosby, Keshia Knight Pulliam, Phylicia Rashad, Raven Symone and Malcolm-Jamal Warner. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Then a deposition unsealed in 2015 in a lawsuit brought by Constand revealed an unsavory private life marked by a long history of extramarital liaisons with young women. Dozens of women came forward to say he had drugged and assaulted them.

FILE - In this 1974 file photo, comedian Bill Cosby prepares to hit the ball as Australian World Cup team captain and playing partner Fred Stolle watches during an exhibition tennis match in Hartford, Conn. Cosby and Stolle teamed against actor Robert Culp and American World Cup team member Arthur Ashe. (AP Photo/Bob Child) © The Associated Press FILE - In this 1974 file photo, comedian Bill Cosby prepares to hit the ball as Australian World Cup team captain and playing partner Fred Stolle watches during an exhibition tennis match in Hartford, Conn. Cosby and Stolle teamed against actor Robert Culp and American World Cup team member Arthur Ashe. (AP Photo/Bob Child)

The statute of limitations for prosecuting Cosby had run out in nearly every case. This is the only one to result in criminal charges against the comic.

FILE - This August 1972 file photo shows comedian Bill Cosby from the Saturday morning cartoon show "Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids." Cosby created and starred in the cartoon series based loosely on his Philadelphia childhood that promoted good behavior and morality. (AP Photo, File) © The Associated Press FILE - This August 1972 file photo shows comedian Bill Cosby from the Saturday morning cartoon show "Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids." Cosby created and starred in the cartoon series based loosely on his Philadelphia childhood that promoted good behavior and morality. (AP Photo, File)

Celebrity attorney Gloria Allred, who showed up for the first day of the trial, told reporters she is hopeful "there will be justice in this case."

FILE - In this Sept. 12, 1965 file photo, actor-comedian Bill Cosby, right, and his wife, Camille, arrive at the TV Academy awards in the Hollywood area of Los Angeles. Camille Cosby released a statement on Monday, Dec. 15, 2014 in support of her husband. The statement is the first public comment from Cosby's long-time wife since a wave of sexual assault allegations began swirling several weeks earlier. (AP Photo, File) © The Associated Press FILE - In this Sept. 12, 1965 file photo, actor-comedian Bill Cosby, right, and his wife, Camille, arrive at the TV Academy awards in the Hollywood area of Los Angeles. Camille Cosby released a statement on Monday, Dec. 15, 2014 in support of her husband. The statement is the first public comment from Cosby's long-time wife since a wave of sexual assault allegations began swirling several weeks earlier. (AP Photo, File)

Allred represents several of Cosby's accusers, including a woman who worked for the comedian's agent at the William Morris agency. She will be the only other accuser allowed to testify for the prosecution.

FILE - In this Nov. 6, 2014 file photo, entertainer Bill Cosby, left, and his wife, Camille, laugh as they tell a story about collecting one of the pieces in the upcoming exhibit, "Conversations: African and African-American Artworks in Dialogue" at the Smithsonian's National Museum of African Art in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File) © The Associated Press FILE - In this Nov. 6, 2014 file photo, entertainer Bill Cosby, left, and his wife, Camille, laugh as they tell a story about collecting one of the pieces in the upcoming exhibit, "Conversations: African and African-American Artworks in Dialogue" at the Smithsonian's National Museum of African Art in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

"I'm not going to predict what the outcome is," Allred said. "We'll see what the evidence is. But this case is not going to be decided on optics, it's going to be decided on the evidence, and finally, it's Mr. Cosby who's going to have to face that evidence and confront the accusers who are against him."

FILE - In this April 1, 1982 file photo, John H. Johnson, publisher of Jet and Ebony magazines, left, and actor Bill Cosby, center, join the Rev. Jesse Jackson at a benefit reception for Operation PUSH in Chicago, Ill. (AP Photo) © The Associated Press FILE - In this April 1, 1982 file photo, John H. Johnson, publisher of Jet and Ebony magazines, left, and actor Bill Cosby, center, join the Rev. Jesse Jackson at a benefit reception for Operation PUSH in Chicago, Ill. (AP Photo)

The judge hopes to avoid the kind of media frenzy that surrounded O.J. Simpson's murder trial in the 1990s. The cameras that dominated Simpson's trial aren't allowed in Pennsylvania courtrooms.

FILE - In this Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2008 file photo, Bill Cosby, host of the Playboy Jazz Festival, right, and Playboy impresario Hugh Hefner greet each other at a party to announce the lineup of the upcoming 30th annual festival, at the Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles. The festival will be held at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon) © The Associated Press FILE - In this Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2008 file photo, Bill Cosby, host of the Playboy Jazz Festival, right, and Playboy impresario Hugh Hefner greet each other at a party to announce the lineup of the upcoming 30th annual festival, at the Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles. The festival will be held at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

"We've had an O.J. hangover for many years," said Loyola Law School professor Laurie Levenson. "What you worry about as the judge is that the lawyers don't showboat, the evidence gets presented fairly, and that you have a jury that does its job and is not being thrown into the whole milieu of the trial outside the courtroom."

FILE - In this Tuesday, May 16, 2006 file photo, entertainer Bill Cosby raises his arm to the audience on the campus of University of the District of Columbia in Washington. The panel discussion on issues facing low income Americans is being called a "Call Out with Bill Cosby". (AP Photo/Lawrence Jackson) © The Associated Press FILE - In this Tuesday, May 16, 2006 file photo, entertainer Bill Cosby raises his arm to the audience on the campus of University of the District of Columbia in Washington. The panel discussion on issues facing low income Americans is being called a "Call Out with Bill Cosby". (AP Photo/Lawrence Jackson)
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Constand filed a police complaint in 2005 over the night a year earlier, when, she says, Cosby drugged her and put his hand down her pants.

FILE - In this Sept. 8, 2004 file photo, Bill Cosby addresses a gathering at the 34th Annual Legislative Conference of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation in Washington. Bill Cosby doesn't plan to testify when he goes on trial Monday June 5, 2017 on sexual assault charges, but the rambling, disturbing testimony he gave a decade ago in the accuser's civil suit could prove just as crucial. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta) © The Associated Press FILE - In this Sept. 8, 2004 file photo, Bill Cosby addresses a gathering at the 34th Annual Legislative Conference of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation in Washington. Bill Cosby doesn't plan to testify when he goes on trial Monday June 5, 2017 on sexual assault charges, but the rambling, disturbing testimony he gave a decade ago in the accuser's civil suit could prove just as crucial. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

The district attorney at the time said the case was too weak to prosecute. But a new set of prosecutors charged Cosby a year and a half ago after the deposition became public and numerous women came forward.

In one of the more explosive disclosures in the deposition, Cosby said he had obtained quaaludes in the 1970s to give to women before sex.

Cosby's lawyers have said that the encounter with Constand was consensual, and they tried repeatedly to get the case thrown out. They said Cosby testified in the lawsuit only after being promised he could never be charged.

And they argued that the delayed prosecution makes the case impossible to defend, given that witnesses have died, memories have faded and Cosby, they say, is blind.

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

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For more on Cosby, including trial updates, historical photos, videos and an audio series exploring the case, visit: www.apnews.com/tag/CosbyonTrial

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