Both sides to call toxicologists in Cosby sex assault trial

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NORRISTOWN, Pa. (Reuters) – Expert toxicologists for both sides are expected to take the stand on Thursday in the trial of Bill Cosby who is accused of drugging and sexually assaulting a former friend more than a decade ago.

FILE PHOTO: Bill Cosby walks with publicist Ebonee Benson during a break in his sexual assault retrial case at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pennsylvania, U.S., April 18, 2018. Corey Perrine/Pool via Reuters

Cosby, best known as the star of the 1980s TV hit “The Cosby Show,” is being retried in a Pennsylvania court on charges of giving three blue pills to Andrea Constand and raping her at his home near Philadelphia in 2004. The jury in the first trial last year failed to reach a verdict.

Cosby, 80, says the sexual contact with Constand was consensual. He could face 10 years in prison if convicted.

The prosecution and defense plan to call expert toxicologists after the prosecution introduced a 2005 deposition in Constand’s civil trial about Cosby’s knowledge and use of Quaaludes to seduce women.

Cosby paid Constand $3.38 million to settle a civil lawsuit she filed after Pennsylvania prosecutors in 2005 initially declined to charge Cosby for the alleged assault. Other women have filed civil lawsuits against him for defamation and assault.

Constand is one of about 50 women who have accused him of assault dating back decades. Hers is the only case recent enough to be the subject of criminal prosecution.

Cosby has denied the accounts of the other women.

On Wednesday, Cosby’s star defense witness testified that Constand once told her how easy it would be to fabricate an accusation of sexual assault against a celebrity to make money.

Marguerite Jackson, an academic adviser at Temple University, Cosby’s alma mater, said Constand made the remark while they were on a road trip by Temple’s women’s basketball team in Rhode Island. Constand was director of operations for the team.

Constand on Monday denied ever knowing Jackson, rooming with her or ever speaking to her.

Editing by Michael Perry and Jeffrey Benkoe

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