US comedian Cosby’s trial for sexual assault begins in Pennsylvania a

The trial of US comedian and actor Bill Cosby for sexual assault has begun in Pennsylvania, according to BBC.

Former university employee Andrea Constand alleges he drugged and molested her in 2004.

Mr Cosby, 79, says he is innocent and the encounter was consensual. The trial is expected to last about two weeks.

It is being seen as the biggest US celebrity court case since the murder trial of former American football player OJ Simpson in 1995.

Several of Mr Cosby’s co-stars from the 1984-1992 sitcom The Cosby Show are expected to attend the trial in Norristown, outside Philadelphia. One of them, Keshia Knight Pulliam, accompanied him into court.

More than 100 journalists are expected to cover the trial.

The courthouse, in Norristown, about 20 miles (32km) outside Mr Cosby’s home city of Philadelphia, swarmed with reporters as the celebrity arrived, emerging slowly from the back seat of a black SUV.

Inside court he reappeared, dressed in a navy suit and a striped tie, never turning towards the packed courtroom behind him.

He sat stoically, facing forward and periodically leaning over to confer with one of his lawyers. At one point he spoke out to no-one in particular, as one of his associates had walked away, perhaps revealing his issues with poor sight. But as members of the jury entered, Mr Cosby – like everyone else in the room – turned his attention to their corner.

Judge Steven O’Neill appealed to the courtroom full of reporters to “let the trial play out”, before spending the first hour explaining to jurors their job.