Facing sexual assault retrial, Bill Cosby returns to the stage

Photo by Gerardo Mora/Getty Images(PENNSYLVANIA) —  Bill Cosby, who is facing a retrial this spring on a sexual assault charge, returned to the stage Monday night.

Cosby appeared the LaRose Jazz Club in Philadelphia — an appearance he announced just hours before on his Facebook page.

The occasion was a special event honoring jazz musician Tony Williams.

Vulture reports that Cosby performed for just over an hour telling jokes largely based on stories from his childhood and made no mention of his impending trail.  He also briefly sat in with the band playing drums.

According to Vulture, audience members welcomed the 80-year-old comic, shaking hands and posing for photos with him.

Cosby’s charged with the alleged sexual assault in 2004 of former Temple University staffer Andrea Constand, who testified Cosby gave her pills that rendered her unable to stop his advances, though she said she tried.  Cosby claims he gave Constand the over-the-counter medication Benadryl to relax her, after which they had a consensual sexual encounter.

The jury in Cosby’s first trial last June was unable to reach a unanimous verdict after more than 50 hours of deliberation, prompting the judge to declare a mistrial.

The retrial is set to begin April 2.

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