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The Latest: Cosby allowed to raise accuser's criminal past

April 11, 2018
Associated Press

NORRISTOWN, Pa. (AP) — The Latest on the Bill Cosby sexual assault retrial (all times local):

12:10 p.m.

Jurors will be able to hear about the criminal past of one of the accusers in Bill Cosby's sex-assault retrial.

Cosby lawyer Jaya Gupta told a judge Wednesday that Chelan Lasha's 2007 guilty plea for making a false report to Arizona law enforcement "bears on her veracity."

The judge says that Cosby's lawyers can bring it up.

The former model and aspiring actress is one of five additional accusers who are being allowed to testify in the retrial. Her lawyer, Gloria Allred, says the defense is trying to smear Lasha.

Cosby is charged with drugging and molesting a woman at his home in 2004. He says it was consensual.

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11:55 a.m.

The first accuser testifying at Bill Cosby's retrial is telling jurors she wants to "see a serial rapist convicted."

Heidi Thomas stunned Cosby's lawyers and the courtroom with her answer during cross-examination Wednesday, fending off the insinuation that she'd do anything to help the comedian's chief accuser.

Thomas says she came forward with her allegations in early 2015 to support other women who have accused Cosby, not for the attention his lawyers say it brought her.

Thomas is rejecting a defense lawyer's suggestion she was seeking a share of the spotlight and trying to profit off her experiences.

She's the first in a parade of women whom prosecutors are calling as they try to show Cosby was a serial predator.

The 80-year-old comedian is charged with drugging and molesting another woman in 2004.

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9:30 a.m.

Bill Cosby's lawyers are arguing in court at his sexual assault retrial that jurors should hear about an accuser's criminal past so they can fully assess her credibility.

Cosby lawyer Jaya Gupta told a judge Wednesday that Chelan Lasha's 2007 guilty plea for making a false report to Arizona law enforcement "bears on her veracity."

State law bars talk of witness convictions more than a decade old, but Gupta argued Lasha's conviction should be an exception since her allegations against Cosby date to 1986.

Assistant District Attorney Stewart Ryan argued the defense will get a chance to test Lasha's credibility when she's cross-examined.

The judge has yet to rule.

Lasha is one of five additional accusers who are being allowed to testify in the retrial.

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8:45 a.m.

Comedian Bill Cosby has arrived for the third day of his sexual assault retrial.

Cosby walked into the suburban Philadelphia courthouse on Wednesday morning.

Spokesman Andrew Wyatt cited Cosby's defense attorney's opening statement Tuesday blasting his accuser. He says that the truth will be shown in court and Cosby will be vindicated.

The first of five additional accusers against Cosby is continuing her testimony in court Wednesday.

Heidi Thomas told jurors on Tuesday that Cosby knocked her out with wine and forced her to perform oral sex in Reno, Nevada, in 1984.

The Associated Press doesn't typically identify people who say they're victims of sexual assault unless they grant permission, which Thomas has done.

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12:10 a.m.

Prosecutors are rallying from a blistering defense attack on Bill Cosby's chief accuser with a parade of women who say the comedian drugged and attacked them long before he allegedly assaulted Andrea Constand at his suburban Philadelphia home in 2004.

The first of the five women, Heidi Thomas, returns to the witness stand on Wednesday. She told jurors on Tuesday that Cosby knocked her out with wine and forced her to perform oral sex in Reno, Nevada, in 1984.

The women could help prosecutors insulate Constand from the defense's contention that she's a "con artist."

Defense lawyer Tom Mesereau said in an opening statement that Constand framed him to score a big payday.

The Associated Press doesn't typically identify people who say they're victims of sexual assault unless they grant permission, which Constand and Thomas have done.

 
 

 

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