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Topless protester targets Bill Cosby at retrial

A topless protester launched herself at Bill Cosby as he arrived for a retrial on sexual assault charges.

The woman had "Women's Lives Matter" written in red ink on her chest and stomach, and other phrases in red and black all over her body.

She was intercepted by police as she jumped over a barricade outside the courthouse in Philadelphia.

Image:The protester is led away by police

Cosby, 80, appeared startled but was untouched and uninjured.

He was led into the courthouse as the woman was led away in handcuffs.

She was among about half a dozen people showing support for Cosby's accuser, Andrea Constand.

The protester was stopped by police
Image:The woman had 'Women's Lives Matter' written in red ink on her chest and stomach

Ms Constand alleges that the comedian drugged and sexually assaulted her at his home in 2004 when she was director of women's basketball at Temple University.

A judge has ruled that as many as five other women can testify alongside her.

The TV star, who is facing three counts of aggravated indecent assault, denies the accusations against him and claims the relationship with Mrs Constand was consensual.

Each count is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

Bill Cosby watches as a protester struggles with police
Image:Bill Cosby watches as a protester struggles with police

An earlier trial, in which Cosby faced the same accuser, ended in a hung jury last June.

Cosby is represented this time by a new lawyer, Tom Mesereau, who helped get Michael Jackson acquitted when he was accused of child molesting.

The defence team will be able to call on a witness who claims Ms Constand talked about framing a celebrity and was motivated by money.

Protesters outside the courthouse in Philadelphia
Image:Protesters outside the courthouse in Philadelphia

Mr Mesereau is expected to focus on the amount Ms Constand was paid when she reached a settlement in a civil lawsuit in 2005.

The figure has never been disclosed.

More from Bill Cosby

Ms Constand is one of more than 50 women who have accused Cosby of sexual assaults, some of them dating back decades.

His defence team says he denies all allegations and says any sexual encounters were consensual.

Original Article

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