Cosby allowed to raise accuser's criminal past

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Of the more than 60 women who accused the once-beloved comic of drugging, raping, and abusing them, Constand had the only case for which the statute of limitations had not run out, which left her battling in a Pennsylvania courtroom not only for herself but on behalf of all of his accusers.

"I had no question about my ability to fend off a person hitting on me or making a sexual advance", Constand said. This time, though, she's facing a defense team intent on portraying her as a "con artist" who framed him for money.

"I know the name", she said.

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.

"It's all a fabrication there because I wanted the paycheck for my kids", Dickinson testified, adding that her ghostwriter took "poetic license" with her life story. "I wanted to approach him, but I didn't want to touch him at all".

"Yes, because I trusted him", she said, sobbing.

"You're going to be wondering: What did she want from Bill Cosby?".

Afterward, Constand said, "I was really humiliated".

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U.S. comic Bill Cosby served actress Heidi Thomas spiked wine that made her drowsy for four days in 1984, she has told his trial.

Her harrowing account of the events in 2004 was consistent with the one she gave at last year's trial in suburban Philadelphia, and jurors watched intently and scribbled notes as she told how Cosby, the good-guy celebrity she viewed as a mentor and friend, had betrayed her.

She continued: "I put my hand on the Bible and I swore".

Under cross-examination, Thomas testified that she chronicled her trip to Reno in a scrapbook and recorded a cassette tape at the home where she had the encounter with Cosby.

The judge allowed the jury to be told that Lasha in 2007 pleaded guilty to an unrelated criminal charge of false identification as the defense sought to undermine her credibility. She then recalled being touched by the comedian, who was then in his late 60s.

Constand testified that she did not tell anyone of the attack until January 2005, about a year after she has said it occurred, because she feared coming forward.

She said that she planned the Cosby protest for several months with members of Femen.

"Shortly after I took the pictures and he finished the conversation, he got on top of me", Dickinson said. The combination immobilized her and rendered her unable to speak.

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Last year's case was declared a mistrial after the jury spent 52 hours deliberating the evidence and could reach no verdict.

Between the trials, USA popular culture was shaken by the #MeToo movement, which encouraged an increasing number of women to step forward with stories of sexual harassment or assault at the hands of the rich and powerful.

As they began building their case against Cosby, prosecutors chose Thomas, a Colorado music teacher, as their first substantive witness.

"We're going to ask that you keep your eye on the ball", Mesereau said.

The beginning of Lasha's account came after Thomas, 58, a music teacher from Colorado, spent almost three hours on the witness stand over two days this week, testifying about her 1984 trip to Reno, Nev., where she says Cosby drugged and assaulted her during an acting lesson. "She was madly in love with his fame and money and she's now a multi-millionaire because she pulled it off", Thomas Mesereau said of Constand, who won a £2.4 million settlement from Cosby in a civil lawsuit in 2006. However, O'Neill did chastise Lasha for her outburst and said he would remind other witnesses that they can not speak to anyone in the courtroom during their testimonies from now on.

The sole accuser with the power to fell once-beloved entertainer Bill Cosby is expected to take the stand Friday in his sex-assault retrial.

Mesereau Jr., one of Cosby's lawyers, shredded any sense that the defense would be cowed by the #MeToo moment. He faces three counts of aggravated indecent assault, each punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

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