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What you need to know: NPR

Bill Cosby leaves a preliminary hearing in his sexual assault case in the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pennsylvania, on August 22, 2017.

Matt Rourke / AP


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Matt Rourke / AP

Bill Cosby leaves a preliminary hearing in his sexual assault case in the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pennsylvania, on August 22, 2017.

Matt Rourke / AP

Next week, Bill Cosby returns to court to face three counts of indecent assault aggravated for allegedly drugging and molesting Andrea Constand more than a decade ago.

Last June, a jury could not decide whether to condemn or acquit the 80-year-old celebrity on the accusations, resulting in the annulment of the trial.

Now, there is a new jury, new defense attorneys and, with the #metoo movement, a new era of sexual assault liability. If convicted, Cosby faces up to 10 years behind bars for each charge.

This is what you need to know about the case and the people involved.

The accuser: Andrea Constand is a former employee of Temple University. Cosby and Constand met more than a decade ago while working for the women's basketball team at the university. She said they became friends and he invited her to dinner at his house and offered his professional advice. She is now a massage therapist who lives in Ontario, Canada.

Andrea Constand leaves the courtroom after the closing arguments on June 12, 2017. The judge declared null and void when the jury could not reach a verdict after more than 50 hours of deliberation.

David Maialetti / AP


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David Maialetti / AP

Andrea Constand leaves the room after the closing arguments on June 12, 2017. The judge declared the trial void when the jury could not reach a verdict after more than 50 hours of deliberation.

David Maialetti / AP

The accusations: On January 4, 2004, Cosby invited Constand to his home in the vicinity of Philadelphia. In the 2017 test, Constand testified that Cosby gave him three pills that he indicated were "herbal", but they were something else.

She said that during the trial those pills made her feel "frozen" and faint. That's when she says Cosby attacked her.

Constand reported the assault on police in 2005 and filed a civil lawsuit against Cosby when prosecutors initially refused to press charges. Ten years later, a judge released the deposition testimony that Cosby issued during the civil lawsuit, in which he said he gave Constand pills and there was sexual contact the night of the alleged assault. In light of this new information, prosecutors again reviewed the Constand case and decided to file criminal charges in 2015.

What happened in the first trial: Constand testified, Cosby did not do so. The jurors also heard testimony from Constand's mother, Gianna Constand, and recorded phone conversations between Gianna and Cosby, where Cosby offered to pay Andrea to return to school.

Prosecutors also called Kelly Johnson, another woman who claims that Cosby drugged her and assaulted her, to the rostrum, to try demonstrate that Cosby had a criminal pattern of behavior. Jury member Bobby Dugan said he wanted to convict Cosby of two of the three charges he faces, according to Cosby's past statements, not the testimony of any woman.

"In my opinion, consent is a verbal agreement, there is no verbal agreement, there is no consent," he said.

Jurors could not reach a unanimous decision after 52 hours of deliberation. The judge declared him a null judgment.

What is different in this trial: This jury will listen to new witnesses. More than 50 women have accused Cosby of assaulting them since the 1960s. A judge recently ruled that he allowed the testimony of up to five women, in addition to Constand, who say that Cosby also drugged them and sexually assaulted them.

Cosby is not on trial for the accusations of these other women. But they are allowed to testify in this case to help a jury decide if Cosby knew what he was doing.

And then there is the explosion of accusations of harassment and sexual assault against high-profile men, known as the #metoo movement, which began a few months after the annulment of the trial.

Cosby's lawyers asked the court to ban T-shirts, flowers, buttons and any other paraphernalia that could be used to make a statement about the movement during the trial, to try to prevent public opinion from predisposing the jury. Judge Steven O & Neil accepted that request, banning any item that could make a statement for or against either side in the case.

The defense: Cosby testified in a civil deposition in 2005 that he gave Constand pills and there was sexual contact.

Last year the then Cosby lawyer, Angela Agrusa, argued that the incident was consensual and romantic. Cosby's defense team also questioned Constand's credibility, pointing out inconsistencies in his accounts to the police.

For this trial, there is a new lead defense attorney, Tom Mesereau, who previously defended Michael Jackson against the charges of sexual abuse of minors.

Court documents indicate that the defense has asked to call a witness they say shows that Constand planned to fabricate a sexual assault claim to obtain a large payment. Lawyers can also discuss the money that Constand received in resolving the civil suit against Cosby in 2006.


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