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News Link • Courtroom and Trials

Three years and 60 accusers later, Bill Cosby's trial begins. But only one woman will decide...

• By Manuel Roig-Franzia

As the Bill Cosby sex scandal spread, flaring into a media firestorm, the woman best positioned to confront him in a criminal court kept returning to her tattoo artist.

Thickly rendered lines twist and curl up Andrea Constand's forearm, then past her elbow. On her upper left arm she had a brilliant pink gladiolus etched into her skin.

Constand had seen Lili Bernard, another woman who has accused the comedian of drugging and sexually assaulting her, carrying the spiky flower at a Cosby protest. Bernard said her friend was inspired.

In Latin, the flower's name means a small sword. Now the woman with the sword flower on her arm is the central figure in one of the most highly anticipated trials in recent history, a potential reckoning for an entertainment legend whose legacy as "America's Dad" lies in tatters. The trial that starts Monday with jury selection will determine whether Cosby drugged and sexually assaulted Constand, the only woman to have her allegations against Cosby heard in a criminal court.

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