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Bill Cosby attends trial on charges of sexual abuse

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Comedian Bill Cosby attended the first day of his trial for alleged sexual assault of Canadian Andrea Constand, one of more than 60 women who have filed criminal charges against him.

The 79-year-old remained silent during the the trial, which began on Monday amid strong security measures at the Norristown courthouse, outside Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, reported Efe.

The trial, which will go on for about two weeks, focuses on Constand, who claims that in early 2004 Cosby invited her to his mansion in Cheltenham, Pennsylvania, and gave her some pills which made her dizzy, and which allowed him to abuse her.

Constand, 44, is expected to testify at the trial, although it is not yet known when.

Instead, another woman testified on Monday. Known only by the alias Kacey, she said that in 1996 Cosby invited her to a hotel in Los Angeles, California, drugged and paralysed her, and later abused her — a story that Constand as well as dozens of other women claim to have happened to them as well, Efe reported.

The comedian’s defence, led by lawyer Brian McMonagle, objected to Kacey’s testimony at the trial as they believe it was not relevant to Constand’s case or the “romantic” relationship that, according to them, Cosby and Constand had.

Cosby has repeatedly rejected the allegations of sexual abuse and claimed that his relationship with Constand was consensual, although he said that he used drugs as a lure to attract women but never as a tool to incapacitate them.

Allegations of sexual abuse by Cosby date back to the 1960s and are too old to be prosecuted, so prosecutors believe that Constand’s case can be crucial to prove the alleged sexual assaults that dozens of women suffered for years.

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Cosby is charged with three counts of sexual abuse, each carrying a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a fine of $25,000.

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