Protester Jumped Barricade Outside Bill Cosby Trial

Cosby paid accuser $3.38m as assault retrial continues

Cosby paid accuser $3.38m as assault retrial continues

The 80-year-old comedian has pleaded not guilty to all accounts.

UPDATED April 9 2:53 p.m, ET: The Associated Press has confirmed that the topless protester has been identified as former The Cosby Show actress, Nicolle Rochelle. The trial was deemed a mistrial, as the jury could not come to a conclusion.

She later told WHYY and NPR reporter Bobby Allyn that the goal of her protest was to "make Cosby uncomfortable, because that is exactly what he has been doing for decades to women".

Claire McCue, a protester from Brooklyn and a professor of social work in the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College, brought her daughter, who is in elementary school, with her to the protest.

An initial trial on the same charges ended with a hung jury last June. "This practice happens to be one of the main tenets of the patriarchial system and Bill Cosby knows this particular practice well, wielding his power over the heads and bodies of women for decades and presently having the audacity to accuse his accusers of lying". Dozens of women have famously accused Cosby of various acts of sexual harassment and assault, but Constand was one of the few whose case fell within the statute of limitations. (Another new witness, also a former Temple employee, will testify on behalf of Cosby that she heard Constand discussing the possibility of claiming sexual abuse to win money in a lawsuit from a wealthy man).

The defense has also moved to strike one juror from the trial for being allegedly overheard saying: "I just think he's guilty, so we can all be done and get out of here". Cosby's defense attorneys plan to try to undermine her testimony by arguing how "greedy" she was in a 2006 civil settlement with Cosby.

A topless protester, with the words "women's lives matter" painted on her body in red, jumped in front of Cosby as he was entering the Montgomery County Courthouse.

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During the arduous jury-selection process last week, potential jurors were asked a litany of questions about what they know about the comedian and the allegations against him, and whether they followed the first trial. The judge told the court that he needs "to make sure we can continue with a fair and impartial trial".

Last time, the jury was drawn from Pittsburgh and bused 300 miles to the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pennsylvania, after Cosby said he anxious that all the pretrial publicity had affected potential jurors in the local area.

Rochelle said she would not return to the Montgomery County Courthouse for any form of protest following Monday's demonstration.

Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas Judge Steven T. O'Neill ruled leading up to trial that some evidence regarding the civil suit and confidential settlement would be admissible. Mr Cosby has said the encounters were consensual.

Cosby's camp fought to keep the size of the secret 2006 settlement out of the comedian's first trial in Pennsylvania past year, but his new defense team reversed course and plans to use it this time around to argue Constand fabricated her claims for financial gain.

In addition to winning the acquittal of Michael Jackson in the singer's 2005 child-molestation case, Meserau famously defended Mike Tyson and Suge Knight. The #MeToo movement caught fire four months after the first trial, raising awareness of sexual misconduct as it toppled Harvey Weinstein, Sen.

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