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

Associated Press logo Associated Press 6/6/2017 By MARYCLAIRE DALE and MICHAEL R. SISAK, Associated Press
Bill Cosby arrives for his sexual assault trial with actress Keshia Knight Pulliam, right, at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pa., Monday, June 5, 2017. Pulliam played Cosby’s youngest daughter, Rudy Huxtable, on "The Cosby Show." (AP Photo/Matt Rourke) © The Associated Press Bill Cosby arrives for his sexual assault trial with actress Keshia Knight Pulliam, right, at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pa., Monday, June 5, 2017. Pulliam played Cosby’s youngest daughter, Rudy Huxtable, on "The Cosby Show." (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

NORRISTOWN, Pa. (AP) — Bill Cosby went on trial Monday on charges he drugged and sexually assaulted a woman more than a decade ago, with prosecutors immediately introducing evidence the 79-year-old TV star once known as America's Dad had done it before to someone else.

Bill Cosby leaves the courtroom during a break at his sexual assault trial inside the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pa., Monday, June 5, 2017. (David Maialetti/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP, Pool) © The Associated Press Bill Cosby leaves the courtroom during a break at his sexual assault trial inside the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pa., Monday, June 5, 2017. (David Maialetti/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP, Pool)

The prosecution's opening witness was not the person Cosby is charged with abusing, but another woman, who broke down in tears as she testified that the comedian violated her in the mid-1990s at a hotel bungalow in Los Angeles.

Keshia Knight Pulliam, right, leads Bill Cosby, left, along a hallway during a break from his sexual assault trial inside the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pa., Monday, June 5, 2017. (David Maialetti/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP, Pool) © The Associated Press Keshia Knight Pulliam, right, leads Bill Cosby, left, along a hallway during a break from his sexual assault trial inside the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pa., Monday, June 5, 2017. (David Maialetti/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP, Pool)

Cosby is on trial on charges he assaulted Andrea Constand, a former employee of Temple University's basketball program, at his suburban Philadelphia mansion in 2004. His good-guy reputation already in ruins, he could get 10 years in prison if convicted.

Actress Keshia Knight Pulliam speaks with members of the media during Bill Cosby's sexual assault trial at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pa., Monday, June 5, 2017. Pulliam played Cosby’s youngest daughter, Rudy Huxtable, on "The Cosby Show."(AP Photo/Matt Rourke) © The Associated Press Actress Keshia Knight Pulliam speaks with members of the media during Bill Cosby's sexual assault trial at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pa., Monday, June 5, 2017. Pulliam played Cosby’s youngest daughter, Rudy Huxtable, on "The Cosby Show."(AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Prosecutor Kristen Feden, in her opening statement, noted the "Cosby Show" star previously admitted under oath that he gave Constand pills and touched her genitals as she lay on his couch.

Lawyer Fortunato N. Perri, Jr., left, waits for Andrew Wyatt, second from left, to guide Bill Cosby back to the courtroom after lunch during Cosby's sexual assault trial inside the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pa., Monday, June 5, 2017. (David Maialetti/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP, Pool) © The Associated Press Lawyer Fortunato N. Perri, Jr., left, waits for Andrew Wyatt, second from left, to guide Bill Cosby back to the courtroom after lunch during Cosby's sexual assault trial inside the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pa., Monday, June 5, 2017. (David Maialetti/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP, Pool)

"She couldn't say no," Feden said. "She can't move, she can't talk. Completely paralyzed. Frozen. Lifeless."

Actress Keshia Knight Pulliam, right, walks out of the courtroom with Bill Cosby, center, inside the Montgomery County Courthouse during his sexual assault trial in Norristown, Pa., Monday, June 5, 2017. Pulliam played Cosby’s youngest daughter, Rudy Huxtable, on "The Cosby Show." (David Maialetti/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP, Pool) © The Associated Press Actress Keshia Knight Pulliam, right, walks out of the courtroom with Bill Cosby, center, inside the Montgomery County Courthouse during his sexual assault trial in Norristown, Pa., Monday, June 5, 2017. Pulliam played Cosby’s youngest daughter, Rudy Huxtable, on "The Cosby Show." (David Maialetti/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP, Pool)

Cosby attorney Brian McMonagle countered by attacking what he said were inconsistencies in Constand's story, disputed that Constand was incapacitated and made the case that she and Cosby had a romantic relationship.

Bill Cosby departs after 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 departs after his sexual assault trial at the Montgomery County Courthouse, Monday, June 5, 2017 in Norristown, Pa. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

He said Constand initially told police that she and Cosby did not speak after their 2004 encounter, when, in fact, phone records show the two talked 72 times, with 53 of those calls initiated by Constand.

Bill Cosby departs after 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 departs after his sexual assault trial at the Montgomery County Courthouse, Monday, June 5, 2017 in Norristown, Pa. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

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

Bill Cosby, center, returns to the courtroom after a break in his sexual assault trial inside the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pa., Monday, June 5, 2017. (David Maialetti/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP, Pool) © The Associated Press Bill Cosby, center, returns to the courtroom after a break in his sexual assault trial inside the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pa., Monday, June 5, 2017. (David Maialetti/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP, Pool)

The trial's first witness was Kelly Johnson, who worked for one of Cosby's agents at the William Morris Agency. Johnson, of Atlanta, described an encounter she said took place in 1996 at the Hotel Bel-Air when she was in her mid-30s.

Bill Cosby gestures as he walks from the Montgomery County Courthouse during his sexual assault trial in Norristown, Pa., Monday, June 5, 2017. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke) © The Associated Press Bill Cosby gestures as he walks from the Montgomery County Courthouse during his sexual assault trial in Norristown, Pa., Monday, June 5, 2017. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Prosecutors are trying to show Cosby's treatment of Constand fit a pattern of predatory behavior. They had wanted to call as many as 13 women who say Cosby sexually assaulted them, out of more than 60 accusers in all. But Judge Steven O'Neill, in a victory for Cosby, said the jury could hear only from Constand and Johnson.

Bill Cosby, left, exits the courtroom during a break in his sexual assault trial inside the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pa., Monday, June 5, 2017. (David Maialetti/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP, Pool) © The Associated Press Bill Cosby, left, exits the courtroom during a break in his sexual assault trial inside the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pa., Monday, June 5, 2017. (David Maialetti/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP, Pool)

Johnson testified that Cosby pressured her to take a large white pill that knocked her out, and when she woke up he put lotion on her hand and forced her to touch his genitals.

Bill Cosby, center, heads back to the courtroom after a break in his sexual assault trial inside the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pa., Monday, June 5, 2017. (David Maialetti/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP, Pool) © The Associated Press Bill Cosby, center, heads back to the courtroom after a break in his sexual assault trial inside the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pa., Monday, June 5, 2017. (David Maialetti/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP, Pool)

"My dress was pulled up from the bottom, and it was pulled down from the top, and my breasts were out," she said, crying. "And I felt naked."

Bill Cosby departs after 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 departs after his sexual assault trial at the Montgomery County Courthouse, Monday, June 5, 2017 in Norristown, Pa. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Cosby's lawyer argued that Johnson was seeking a payout from the TV star.

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Bill Cosby departs after his sexual assault trial at the Montgomery County Courthouse, Monday, June 5, 2017, in Norristown, Pa. (David Maialetti/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP, Pool) © The Associated Press Bill Cosby departs after his sexual assault trial at the Montgomery County Courthouse, Monday, June 5, 2017, in Norristown, Pa. (David Maialetti/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP, Pool)

McMonagle said Johnson mixed up the years and other details of her encounters with Cosby, and he grilled her about why she never said anything when she left William Morris. She came forward in 2015 at a news conference with celebrity lawyer Gloria Allred.

Bill Cosby, left, accompanied by defense lawyer Brian McMonagle walks from the Montgomery County Courthouse during his sexual assault trial in Norristown, Pa., Monday, June 5, 2017. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke) © The Associated Press Bill Cosby, left, accompanied by defense lawyer Brian McMonagle walks from the Montgomery County Courthouse during his sexual assault trial in Norristown, Pa., Monday, June 5, 2017. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

"I felt embarrassed because I had a secret about the biggest celebrity in the world at the time and it was just me, just my word against his, and I was very afraid," Johnson said.

Bill Cosby, center, accompanied by defense lawyer Brian McMonagle, left, walks from the Montgomery County Courthouse during his sexual assault trial in Norristown, Pa., Monday, June 5, 2017. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke) © The Associated Press Bill Cosby, center, accompanied by defense lawyer Brian McMonagle, left, walks from the Montgomery County Courthouse during his sexual assault trial in Norristown, Pa., Monday, June 5, 2017. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Cosby grinned and tapped his wooden cane as his lawyer questioned Johnson.

Bill Cosby departs from the Montgomery County Courthouse during his sexual assault trial in Norristown, Pa., Monday, June 5, 2017. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke) © The Associated Press Bill Cosby departs from the Montgomery County Courthouse during his sexual assault trial in Norristown, Pa., Monday, June 5, 2017. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
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The comedian arrived at the courthouse in the morning holding his spokesman's arm for support as he walked past dozens of cameras.

Bill Cosby's lawyer Brian McMonagle, center, rides the elevator with his client, who is on trail for sexual assault, in the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pa., Monday, June 5, 2017. (David Maialetti/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP, Pool) © The Associated Press Bill Cosby's lawyer Brian McMonagle, center, rides the elevator with his client, who is on trail for sexual assault, in the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pa., Monday, June 5, 2017. (David Maialetti/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP, Pool)

Cosby's wife, Camille, was not in court. But actress Keshia Knight Pulliam, who played his daughter Rudy on "The Cosby Show" in the 1980s and '90s, was at his side as he made his way into the building. She told reporters she was there to support her TV dad.

Bill Cosby departs after 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 departs after his sexual assault trial at the Montgomery County Courthouse, Monday, June 5, 2017 in Norristown, Pa. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

"I want to be the person that I would like to have if the tables were turned," she said. "Right now it's the jury's job and the jury's decision to determine guilt or innocence. It's not mine or anyone else's."

Members of the media follow Attorney Gloria Allred during Bill Cosby's sexual assault trial outside of the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pa., Monday, June 5, 2017. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke) © The Associated Press Members of the media follow Attorney Gloria Allred during Bill Cosby's sexual assault trial outside of the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pa., Monday, June 5, 2017. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Cosby built a wholesome 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, movies and comedy tours earned him an estimated $400 million.

Actress Keshia Knight Pulliam speaks with members of the media during Bill Cosby's sexual assault trial at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pa., Monday, June 5, 2017. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke) © The Associated Press Actress Keshia Knight Pulliam speaks with members of the media during Bill Cosby's sexual assault trial at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pa., Monday, June 5, 2017. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
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Then a deposition unsealed in 2015 in a lawsuit brought by Constand revealed that Cosby had a long history of extramarital liaisons with young women and that he obtained quaaludes in the 1970s to give to women before sex. Dozens of women soon came forward to say he had drugged and assaulted them.

Attorney Gloria Allred climbs the stairs inside the Montgomery County Courthouse at Bill Cosby's sexual assault trial in Norristown, Pa., on Monday, June 5, 2017. (David Maialetti/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP, Pool) © The Associated Press Attorney Gloria Allred climbs the stairs inside the Montgomery County Courthouse at Bill Cosby's sexual assault trial in Norristown, Pa., on Monday, June 5, 2017. (David Maialetti/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP, Pool)

Those developments led prosecutors in Pennsylvania to bring charges against Cosby a decade after the district attorney at the time concluded the case was too weak.

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.

Feden, the prosecutor, warned the jury not to fall into the trap of confusing celebrities with the characters they play.

"We think we really know them," she said. "In reality, we only have a glimpse of who they really are."

Cosby's lawyers tried repeatedly to get the case thrown out, arguing that a previous district attorney promised him he would never be charged, and that witnesses have died, memories have faded and the comedian is all but blind.

The AP does not typically identify people who say they are sexual assault victims unless they grant permission, which Constand and Johnson have 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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