Accuser Andrea Constand Takes The Stand During Bill Cosby Sexual Assault Retrial
15 April, 2018, 00:17 | Author: Laura Christensen
The Canadian massage therapist whom Bill Cosby allegedly drugged and sexually assaulted 14 years ago told the entertainer's American retrial Friday that she "could not fight him off".
Cosby's legal team at his first trial wasn't almost as aggressive in attacking Constand, focusing instead on inconsistencies in her statements to police and arguing the pair had a romantic relationship.
During direct examination, prosecutors highlighted that Constand has no pending lawsuits against Cosby, and she has already received a almost $3.4 million settlement as a part of a 2005 civil suit against the entertainer.
It was the second timeConstand told her story to a jury, starting with the mentor-mentee friendship she established with Cosby between 2002 and 2004, when she was working for Temple University.
She said Cosby gave her a little blue pill he described as an antihistamine to help her get over a cold, along with two shots of amaretto "to help break up the cough".
Court opened Wednesday with the defense successfully arguing that jurors should hear about another accuser's criminal past so they can fully assess her credibility. Once he touched her thigh; another time, he tried to unzip her trousers when sat next to her on the couch in his living room. Constand said no, and also said she did not feel threatened after Cosby made sexual advances and she refused. She said Cosby stopped her as she went to leave: "All he said was there's a muffin and tea on the table and then, "All right" and then I left".
Constand said the actor gave her a drug said to be for her allergies, but it was only when she felt groggy that she knew something was wrong.
"I remember thinking, "What the heck is he doing?' I was just in shock". Mesereau has injected an important piece of new evidence into the trial: the specifics of a $3,380,000 settlement that Constand received after suing Cosby in the mid-2000s.
A few minutes later, Constand said she became "woozy" and "weak", and Cosby led her to a couch in another room, placing her on her side.
She's the first in a parade of women whom prosecutors are calling as they try to show Cosby was a serial predator.
Constand had been a star player at the University of Arizona and briefly played professional basketball in Europe.
Cosby, who has said the sex with Constand was consensual, was greeted by a handful of supporters, who shouted encouragement to him. "He was a married man, and I absolutely showed no interest in him".
The defense has called the other accusers irrelevant, urging jurors to focus only on the charges that Cosby is facing.
Cosby, 80, is charged with three counts of aggravated indecent assault, each punishable by up to 10 years in prison. Court records seen during the first trial previous year showed the calls did take place. Just one other accuser was permitted to testify at the first trial.
Cosby lawyer Tom Mesereau is going through a thick binder of police statements and prior testimony as he probes discrepancies between what Andrea Constand has said in the past and what she said on the witness stand. Jackson says Constand told her that she could lie about being sexually assaulted by a celebrity in order to make money in a legal settlement.
Testimony was halted until Monday after the defense presented 100 pages of emails, which they claim tie Constand to a pyramid scheme, and which the judge said she needed time to read.
Constand testified in June that she did not know Jackson. She has said Constand once commented to her about setting up a "high-profile person" and filing suit.
When asked on Friday, she said, "I recognise the name", but said she does not remember sharing a hotel room with Jackson on basketball team trips, which is where Jackson says Constand discussed the extortion plan. His lawyers have portrayed Constand as a gold-digging con artist. But Mesereau's punishing portrayal represented a new level of intensity in the defense attempt to disparage Cosby's accuser, painting a far darker image of her than the one laid out by Cosby's defense team in the first trial.
"I'd love to see if he thinks he's going to prove any of this", Troiani told The Associated Press.
The Associated Press doesn't typically identify people who say they're victims of sexual assault unless they grant permission, which Lasha has done.
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