What's new - and old - as Bill Cosby's retrial begins

Bill Cosby arrives for jury selection for his sexual assault trial at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pennsylvania, US, on April 4, 2018.
Bill Cosby arrives for jury selection for his sexual assault trial at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pennsylvania, US, on April 4, 2018. PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW YORK (NYTIMES) - When it begins on Monday, Bill Cosby's retrial on sexual assault charges will appear very similar in some respects to the first trial that ended nearly 10 months ago with a deadlocked jury.

The courthouse in Norristown, Pennsylvania, will be the same.

Ms Andrea Constand, 44, will take the stand again to give her account of an encounter at Cosby's home in 2004 that turned, she said, into sexual molestation.

But much else about this second trial will be different, starting with how the prosecution will present its case. At the first trial, one other woman who said she was also assaulted by Cosby, 80, was allowed to testify.

This time, Judge Steven T. O'Neill is allowing prosecutors to present the accounts of five additional women. One of them is scheduled to be Janice Dickinson, a onetime supermodel, who said Cosby raped her in 1982.

Experts say the additional accusations will help bolster Ms Constand's credibility as just one of a line of women who say Cosby abused them.

At the first trial, Cosby called only a single defence witness, a detective who testified for only six minutes. This time, however, his legal team plans to call at least three witnesses.

 

The one who has attracted the most attention is Ms Marguerite Jackson, a Temple University academic adviser who says Ms Constand, who worked on the support staff for the women's basketball team, once told her she could make money by falsely claiming that she had been molested by a prominent person.

This time out, Cosby has also hired Mr Thomas A. Mesereau Jr, a criminal defence veteran who helped Michael Jackson win acquittal in his 2005 child molesting trial.