Cosby paid accuser $3.4 mln in civil suit, prosecutor tells jury

NORRISTOWN, Pa., April 9 (Reuters) - Comedian Bill Cosby paid a woman who accused him of sexual assault $3.38 million as part of a 2006 settlement of a civil lawsuit, prosecutors said on Monday in the opening of his retrial on criminal charges stemming from the same accusations.

Prosecutors in Pennsylvania's Montgomery County revealed the payout for the first time in their opening statement of Cosby's second criminal trial, almost a year after a different jury failed to reach a verdict, prompting a mistrial.

Andrea Constand, 44, has accused the once-beloved father from "The Cosby Show" of drugging and sexually assaulting her in 2004. She is one of more than 50 women to level similar accusations against Cosby.

Her case is the only one that has resulted in criminal prosecution because the others were too old under the statute of limitations.

Cosby, 80, has said all of the encounters were consensual. If convicted of aggravated indecent assault, he could face up to 10 years in prison.

A judge barred mention of the settlement or the civil lawsuit during the first criminal trial but agreed the jury could hear about it this time around.

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Bill Cosby departs Montgomery County Courthouse after the fifth day of the sexual assault trail in Norristown, Pennsylvania, on June 9, 2017. (Photo by Bastiaan Slabbers/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
NORRISTOWN, PA - JUNE 12: Camille Cosby enters the courtroom for the sexual assault trial of her husband, entertainer Bill Cosby at the Montgomery County Courthouse on June 12, 2017 in in Norristown, Pennsylvania. A former Temple University employee alleges that the entertainer drugged and molested her in 2004 at his home in suburban Philadelphia. More than 40 women have accused the 79-year-old entertainer of sexual assault. (Photo by David Maialetti-Pool/Getty Images)
Bill Cosby arrives at the Montgomery County Courthouse for the fifth day of the sexual assault trail in Norristown, Pennsylvania, on June 9, 2017. For the second day the actor and comedian is accompanied by Joe Tory. (Photo by Bastiaan Slabbers/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Artist Bird Milliken protests as Bill Cosby departs after the fourth day of the sexual assault trial against him, at Montgomery County Court House, in Norristown, Pennsylvania, on June 8, 2017. (Photo by Bastiaan Slabbers/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
NORRISTOWN, PA - JUNE 8: Attorney Gloria Allred walks out of the courtroom during a break in the sexual assault trial of actor Bill Cosby at the Montgomery County Courthouse on June 8, 2017 in Norristown, Pennsylvania. A former Temple University employee alleges that the entertainer drugged and molested her in 2004 at his home in suburban Philadelphia. More than 40 women have accused the 79-year-old entertainer of sexual assault. (Photo by Eduardo Munoz Alvarez-Pool/Getty Images)
Attorney Gloria Allred speaks to media during a break on the fourth day of the Bill Cosby sexual Assault trial in Morristown, PA, on June 8, 2017. (Photo by Bastiaan Slabbers/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
NORRISTOWN, PA - JUNE 7: Bill Cosby walks outside the courtroom during a break on the third day of his sexual assault trial in the Montgomery County Courthouse June 7, 2017 in Norristown, Pennsylvania. A former Temple University employee alleges that the entertainer drugged and molested her in 2004 at his home in suburban Philadelphia. More than 40 women have accused the 79-year-old entertainer of sexual assault. (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)
NORRISTOWN, PA - JUNE 8: Actor Bill Cosby (R) leaves the courtroom with aide Andrew Wyatt for lunch break in Cosby's trial on sexual assault charges at the Montgomery County Courthouse on June 8, 2017 in Norristown, Pennsylvania. A former Temple University employee alleges that the entertainer drugged and molested her in 2004 at his home in suburban Philadelphia. More than 40 women have accused the 79-year-old entertainer of sexual assault. (Photo by Eduardo Munoz Alvarez-Pool/Getty Images)
NORRISTOWN, PA - JUNE 7: Attorney Gloria Allred arrives at the Montgomery County Courthouse on the third day of the Bill Cosby sexual assault trial June 7, 2017 in Norristown, Pennsylvania. A former Temple University employee alleges that the entertainer drugged and molested her in 2004 at his home in suburban Philadelphia. More than 40 women have accused the 79-year-old entertainer of sexual assault. (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)
NORRISTOWN, PA - JUNE 7: Bill Cosby accuser Andrea Constand arrives at the Montgomery County Courthouse on the third day of Cosby's sexual assault trial June 7, 2017 in Norristown, Pennsylvania. A former Temple University employee alleges that the entertainer drugged and molested her in 2004 at his home in suburban Philadelphia. More than 40 women have accused the 79 year old entertainer of sexual assault. (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)
NORRISTOWN, PA - JUNE 7: Actor Bill Cosby departs for the day after his trial on sexual assault charges at the Montgomery County Courthouse on June 7, 2017 in Norristown, Pennsylvania. A former Temple University employee alleges that the entertainer drugged and molested her in 2004 at his home in suburban Philadelphia. More than 40 women have accused the 79-year-old entertainer of sexual assault. (Photo by Ed Hille-Pool/Getty Images)
NORRISTOWN, PA - JUNE 7: Bill Cosby accuser Andrea Constand arrives at the Montgomery County Courthouse on the third day of Cosby's sexual assault trial June 7, 2017 in Norristown, Pennsylvania. A former Temple University employee alleges that the entertainer drugged and molested her in 2004 at his home in suburban Philadelphia. More than 40 women have accused the 79 year old entertainer of sexual assault. (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)
Cosby Survivor Lili Bernard and supporter Carolin Heldman outside the Cosby sexual assault trial at Montgomery County Courthouse, in Norristown, Pennsylvania, on June 5, 2017. (Photo by Bastiaan Slabbers/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
NORRISTOWN, PA - JUNE 05: Criminal defense attorney Angela Agrusa arrives to the first day of Bill Cosby court trial at Montgomery County Courthouse on June 5, 2017 in Norristown, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Gilbert Carrasquillo/WireImage)
Actor Bill Cosby departs after the first day of the sexual assault trial against him, at Montgomery County Courthouse, in Norristown, Pennsylvania, on June 5, 2017. (Photo by Bastiaan Slabbers/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
NORRISTOWN, PA - JUNE 5: Bill Cosby departs the Montgomery County Courthouse after the opening day of the sexual assault trial June 5, 2017 in Norristown, Pennsylvania. A former Temple University employee alleges that the entertainer drugged and molested her in 2004 at his home in suburban Philadelphia. More than 40 women have accused the 79 year old entertainer of sexual assault. (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)
NORRISTOWN, PA - JUNE 5: Actor Bill Cosby (C) arrives with actress Keshia Knight Pulliam (R) and spokesman Andrew Wyatt for Cosby's trial on sexual assault charges at the Montgomery County Courthouse on June 5, 2017 in Norristown, Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania. A former Temple University employee alleges that the entertainer drugged and molested her in 2004 at his home in suburban Philadelphia. More than 40 women have accused the 79 year old entertainer of sexual assault. (Photo by David Maialetti-Pool/Getty Images)
NORRISTOWN, PA - JUNE 05: Actress Keshia Knight Pulliam is seen leaving the first day of Bill Cosby trial on June 5, 2017 in Norristown, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Gilbert Carrasquillo/WireImage)
NORRISTOWN, PA - JUNE 5: Bill Cosby arrives with actress Keshia Knight Pulliam (R) at the Montgomery County Courthouse before the opening of the sexual assault trial June 5, 2017 in Norristown, Pennsylvania. A former Temple University employee alleges that the entertainer drugged and molested her in 2004 at his home in suburban Philadelphia. More than 40 women have accused the 79 year old entertainer of sexual assault. (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)
Attorney Gloria Allred arrives at the Montgomery County Courthouse for the start day of the sexual assault Trial in Norristown, Pennsylvania, on June 5, 2017. (Photo by Bastiaan Slabbers/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
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Cosby's defense team had sought the right to reveal the settlement, attempting to portray Constand as someone seeking a big payout. The defense team has said it would also present a witness who would testify Constand once spoke of extracting money from celebrities by making such an accusation.

But in his opening statement District Attorney Kevin Steele revealed the payout himself. He may later argue the payout was evidence of guilt.

Steele called Cosby's action a betrayal as Constand once considered Cosby a friend and mentor. He also said prosecutors decided to bring the case after transcripts of Cosby's deposition from the civil case became public.

"Andrea Constand did not come to us. After this was released, we go to her," Steele told the jury.

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NORRISTOWN, PA - JUNE 6: Andrea Constand walks to the courtroom for the trial of actor Bill Cosby on sexual assault charges at the Montgomery County Courthouse on June 6, 2017 in Norristown, Pennsylvania. Constand, a former Temple University employee, alleges that the entertainer drugged and molested her in 2004 at his home in suburban Philadelphia. More than 40 women have accused the 79-year-old entertainer of sexual assault. (Photo by Matt Rourke-Pool/Getty Images)
NORRISTOWN, PA - JUNE 6: Andrea Constand walks to the courtroom for the trial of actor Bill Cosby on sexual assault charges at the Montgomery County Courthouse on June 6, 2017 in Norristown, Pennsylvania. Constand, a former Temple University employee, alleges that the entertainer drugged and molested her in 2004 at his home in suburban Philadelphia. More than 40 women have accused the 79-year-old entertainer of sexual assault. (Photo by Matt Rourke-Pool/Getty Images)
NORRISTOWN, PA - JUNE 6: Andrea Constand walks to the courtroom for the trial of actor Bill Cosby on sexual assault charges at the Montgomery County Courthouse on June 6, 2017 in Norristown, Pennsylvania. Constand, a former Temple University employee, alleges that the entertainer drugged and molested her in 2004 at his home in suburban Philadelphia. More than 40 women have accused the 79-year-old entertainer of sexual assault. (Photo by Matt Rourke-Pool/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - DECEMBER 30: Andrea Constand walks her dogs through a park near the Trinity Community Recreation Centre in Toronto, Ontario. Constand, accused Cosby of sexual assault in 2005, a year after the incident allegedly occurred at the comedian's home in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. (Todd Korol/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - DECEMBER 30: Andrea Constand walks her dogs through a park near the Trinity Community Recreation Centre in Toronto, Ontario. Constand, accused Cosby of sexual assault in 2005, a year after the incident allegedly occurred at the comedian's home in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. (Todd Korol/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
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Before court convened, a former "Cosby Show" actress stripped off her top and confronted Cosby as he walked to court, accompanied by publicists and police. She was quickly wrestled to the ground by police and charged with disorderly conduct, prosecutors said.

Nicolle Rochelle climbed over a barrier and began shouting. The words "Women's Lives Matters" and the names of Cosby's accusers were written on her bare torso.

Rochelle, 39, appeared in four episodes of "The Cosby Show" from 1990 to 1992, according to the show business data base IMDb.com.

Defense attorneys were due to make their opening statement on Tuesday. (Reporting by David DeKok; Additional reporting by Daniel Trotta and Jessica Kourkounis; Writing by Daniel Trotta; Editing by Frank McGurty and Cynthia Osterman)

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