Culture&Arts

Cosby back on trial for sexual assault in #MeToo world

Cosby back on trial for sexual assault in #MeToo world

Nicolle Rochelle turned heads when she shockingly protested topless and got arrested outside of the courthouse during Bill Cosby's trial on April 9.

The protester was topless and had the names of Cosby's accusers as well as the phrase "Women's Lives Matter" written in black and red on her body.

Nicolle Rochelle, a former Cosby Show actress, was arrested for disorderly conduct after going topless during a protest outside of Bill Cosby's sexual assault retrial.

"The main goal was to make Cosby uncomfortable because that is exactly what he has been doing for decades to women", she said after being released from police custody (via The Grapevine).

Bill Cosby paid almost $3.4 million as part of a settlement with the woman he is now charged with sexually assaulting, a prosecutor said Monday as the comedian's retrial got underway.

A former Temple University employee alleges that the entertainer drugged and molested her in 2004 at his home in suburban Philadelphia.

Lawyers may also be able to make public the amount of money that Cosby paid Constand in a civil suit to settle her claim in 2006, which could strengthen efforts to portray her as a scheming money-grabber.

The opening statements in Bill Cosby's trial started with one powerful detail that has been a secret since Bill was first accused of drugging and sexually assaulting numerous women.

The settlement, which was not revealed in Cosby's first trial before it ended last June with a hung jury, plays a pivotal role for both sides as the 80-year-old comedian returns to the courtroom. "Like, that would have been me, I may've undergone the abuse as nicely", she says.

Following her arrest, Rochelle issued a statement explaining she's a member of an worldwide women's movement called Femen, in which "topless female activists painted with slogans" are on a mission of "protesting the patriarchy and reclaiming our bodies".

Outside the courthouse, however, protesters expressed their support for Andrea Constand and other Cosby accusers. A second row of barricades was added, and Cosby left court without incident Monday afternoon.

Mr Cosby enjoyed a family-friendly reputation for years before numerous sexual assault allegations came to light in 2015.

Almost every potential juror questioned for the case this time knew about #MeToo. Statements were delayed by five hours this morning because of a motion from Cosby's lawyers alleging one juror had made an earlier statement saying he believed Cosby was guilty.

USA Today said that the majority of Monday's trial was spent behind closed doors discussing whether or not a member of the juror had improperly blabbed about the case before the trial started.

The judge will this time allow five additional accusers to give evidence, BBC correspondent Nada Tawfik reports.

He also introduced to the jury what a common scheme, plan or design and absence of mistake is, which his team plans to use in arguments to prove Cosby had a specific plan to hurt women. Judge Steven O'Neill interviewed all 12 jurors in a private conference with the attorneys.


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