Cosby's main accuser to testify against him in sexual assault case

Virginia Carson
April 15, 2018

She was "bitter", Mesereau said, in those months after January 2004 when she alleges that Cosby drugged and sexually assaulted her at his estate in an upscale enclave in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, where the retrial is being held.

Cosby's first trial last spring ended with the jury hopelessly deadlocked. "She's now a multimillionaire because she pulled it off", defence lawyer Thomas Mesereau said of Andrea Constand, 44, who won a $US3.4 million settlement from Cosby in a civil lawsuit in 2006.

He says the encounter was consensual, but paid $3.4 million U.S. in 2006 to settle a civil lawsuit Constand filed after the district attorney at the time dropped the case.

How Constand's testimony will play with the seven men and five women of the jury will hold the key to Cosby's fate.

Prosecutors hope their testimony will help bolster Constand, the former women's basketball administrator at Cosby's alma mater, Temple University in Philadelphia.

She was stressed about telling her coach, and Cosby invited her to his home, she testified on the stand today, the fifth day of the comedian's retrial on three counts of aggravated indecent assault.

The defense has urged jurors to ignore the other accusers, calling their allegations irrelevant to the charges involving Constand, who turned 45 on Wednesday.

Lawyer Gloria Allred watched from the courtroom gallery as her clients Lasha and Baker-Kinney testified.

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Thomas, who went public with her allegations in 2015, has teamed with other Cosby accusers to lobby for longer statutes of limitations for sex crimes, including a successful effort to double Colorado's to 20 years. And he nodded yes with his head, and he said, 'Put them down. "They'll help you relax, they'll take the edge off".

"I didn't want to think about it, I didn't think of it as rape because I blamed myself" for not turning down the pills, she said.

Women who say Cosby knocked them out with intoxicants and sexually assaulted them decades ago are getting a chance to confront him. "I remember thinking how wrong it was - how very, very wrong it was".

"I hadn't told anybody anything", she testified Wednesday. "I leaned forward and said I didn't come here for that, and he complied".

Cosby has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing and said that any sexual encounters he had were consensual.

Under cross-examination, Thomas testified that she chronicled her trip to Reno in a scrapbook and recorded a cassette tape at the home where she had the encounter with Cosby. She said that after she took the blue pill from Cosby, she began to feel woozy.

She told jurors about two instances with Cosby before the alleged assault - one where he touched her thigh and one where he tried to unbutton her trousers.

"I was very scared...because he was a Temple trustee, a powerful man, an entertainer, a very famous person", Constand told jurors about reporting the assault to police.

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"I could barely move".

Lead defense lawyer Thomas Mesereau Jr. has attacked the prosecution's strategy of having other accusers of uncharged conduct testify at the trial, arguing, "When you don't have a case you have to fill the time with something else". Her next recollection was awaking the next morning in bed with Cosby. "Like, that could have been me, I could've undergone the abuse as well".

On Thursday, it was Dickinson's turn to tell jurors that Cosby had taken advantage of her after knocking her out with drugs.

"I thought it was a little bit absurd, given that Mr. Cosby was just a little bit younger than my grandfather", Constand said of the sexual interest he'd shown in her. Again, Constand said no.

Only one additional accuser took the stand at the first trial.

She testified that she got to know Cosby after he called her agent and said he wanted to meet and possibly mentor her as she looked to expand her career into singing and acting.

During almost three hours of cross-examination, which will continue on Monday, defense attorney Tom Mesereau established a total of nine face-to-face visits between Cosby and Constand before and after the alleged attack and asked whether Constand had ever seen Cosby's wife during those meetings.

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