Bill Cosby goes on trial for sexual assault

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NORRISTOWN, United States: Bill Cosby goes on trial Monday, accused of drugging and sexually assaulting a woman at his Philadelphia mansion 13 years ago, with the megastar turned pariah facing prison if convicted. On Monday, Cosby faces three counts of aggravated indecent assault, which each carry a maximum sentence of 10 years in jail and a $25,000 fine. Around 60 women have publicly accused the pioneering black comedian of being a serial sexual predator for decades, shredding his reputation, ending his career and leaving him isolated by friends and celebrities. But the trial concerns the allegations of just one woman, a former Temple University employee. It is the only criminal case as the vast majority of alleged abuse happened too long ago to prosecute. In the imposing court in Norristown, just outside Philadelphia, a 12-person jury, two of whom are African Americans, will determine Cosby’s guilt or innocence in a trial expected to last two weeks. It will be one of America’s biggest celebrity trials in years. If convicted, he risks spending the rest of his days behind bars. If acquitted, and claiming to be legally blind as a result of glaucoma, Cosby’s career is unlikely to recover.

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AFP

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