Facts, Details & Tweets About Bill Cosby's Sexual Assault Trial You Need To Know

Facts, Details And Tweets About The Bill Cosby Sexual Assault Trial You Need To Know

A look at who's accusing him and who's got his back — and what could happen to him.

Bill Cosby, 79, most notably remembered as the family patriarch in The Cosby Show which ran for eight seasons, is headed to court today in his home town of Norris Town, Pennsylvania, on sexual assault charges.

Once known as "America's Dad," Bill Cosby is facing three counts of aggravated indecent assault stemming from charges by Andrea Constand, a former Temple University student who claims that in 2004, Cosby drugged and assaulted her in his home.

In 2006, Constand and Cosby settled a civil dispute; those records are sealed.

But Andrea Constand isn't the only one who has accused Cosby of sexual assault or rape. More than 50 women have come forward alleging that Bill Cosby drugged them, assaulted them, raped them, or all of the above. Though none of these women is expected to take the stand in this trial, some were seen in the courtroom.

Constand and one other woman, known only as  "Jane Doe," are set to provide testimony in regards to the allegations. Sources told CNN that Andrea Constand feels strongly about the case, "She knows she has the truth on her side."

Here's are the facts and details about Bill Cosby's sexual assault trial starting today that you need to know:

1. Who is Andrea Constand?

Photo Credit: CBC

Andrea Constand is a 44-year-old Canadian who played professional basketball in Italy before taking a job as a director of operations for the women's basketball team at Temple University.

She met Temple University alumnus Bill Cosby in 2001 during a basketball game.

Bill Cosby admitted in prior testimony that he did take an interest in Constand, who he did not know at the time was gay. After several invites to his home with Cosby claiming to be her mentor, he said they engaged in some petting.

However, Constand told police, "We were not involved in any romantic relationship.”

In 2004, Constand was at Cosby's house while they spoke about her wanting to move out of sports and into massage. She claims she said she hadn't gotten any sleep and was drained. According to Constand, Cosby told her to relax and take three herbal pills he was offering her along with some wine.

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Cosby told police what followed was consensual and they he enjoyed it. Constand told police there was no consent, and that after about a half hour, she felt dizzy and her legs were like jelly. She then found herself on the couch with Cosby touching her genitalia.

“I was pretty much frozen. I was unable to speak. I was like paralyzed," she told police.

Early the next morning, Cosby sent her home.

After months of "flashbacks" and uncomfortable calls from Cosby, Constand's parents urged her to go to police with the truth.

2. Who supports Bill Cosby?

Keshia Knight Pulliam, who played Rudy (Cosby's youngest daughter) on The Cosby Show was seen walking into the court house with the defendant.

Initial reports indicated that Phylicia Rashad, the matriarch on the same show, was expected to appear as well, however that's unlikely since the actress is in rehearsals for the play A Midsummers Night's Dream in NYC.

Andrew Wyatt, Cosby's spokesperson, had said: “They’re coming in to hear the truth. Keshia feels the same way. She’s not here to proclaim guilt or innocence. She’s here to finally hear the truth for herself in the courtroom. She wants people to stop listening to the sensationalism and come hear the truth.”

In 2015, Keshia Knight Pulliam spoke on The Today Show in regards to her firing on The Celebrity Apprentice but she also commented on the allegations that had just been revealed against Cosby:

3. What is Bill Cosby's defense in his sexual assault trial?

Bill Cosby's defense attorney, Brian McMonagle, agreed that sexual assault is a terrible crime but being falsely accused is as well. He said, “It can destroy a man. Can destroy his life, his future.”

According to his attorney, Constand's statements to police have inconsistencies. Phone records also indicate that there were 72 phone calls between the two after the alleged assault and 2/3 of the calls came from Constand. 

Cosby's lawyers claim the "herbal pills" Constand was given was actually Benadryl, a medicine he used often to sleep while he was on the road.

Bill Cosby told Sirius XM host Michael Smerconish in May that he does not plan to testify, “When you have to deal with examination, cross-examination, et cetera, et cetera, more than two sides to every story, sometimes it’s four or five … And what people want to say and want you to say and how they maneuver, and, yes, I do have lawyers protect me — objection; sustained. But I just don’t want to sit there and have to figure out what I believe is a truthful answer to whether or not I’m opening a can of something that my lawyers are scrambling.”

The jury, made up of seven men and five women, became controversial when the defense felt the selection didn't include enough African-Americans.

There are only two African-American jurors, one male and one female, both in their 30s or 40s.

McMonagol said, “We believe this is a systematic exclusion of African-Americans who answered that they could be objective … hoping he could find a favorable, diverse jury … We believe it is paramount that there be a diverse jury and we believe that we cannot get a diverse jury.”

4. How long is Bill Cosby's Sexual assault trial expected to last?

Opening statements begin today, June 5, and the entire trial is expected to last roughly two weeks.

If convicted, Cosby could face 10 to 30 years in prison, depending on how many charges he's found to be guilty of and how the judge decides to execute those sentences.

RELATED: Gretchen Carlson's Fight Against Sexual Harassment Makes Her A Hero

5. What is Twitter's reactions to the Bill Cosby sexual assault trial?