Bill Cosby's Accuser Takes The Stand In Sexual Assault Trial

Wendy Jensen
June 28, 2017

Andrea Constand, a former Temple University basketball official, told the suburban Philadelphia courtroom Tuesday that she visited the comic's Philadelphia home for career advice. "In my head, I was trying to get my hands to move or my legs to move, and I was frozen".

"I said, 'I trust you.' I took the pills and I swallowed them down", she told the court.

The 79-year-old, for decades feted as "America's Dad", is on trial for allegedly drugging and sexually assaulting a Temple University employee at his Philadelphia mansion 13 years ago.

The pioneering American black actor faces three counts of aggravated indecent assault, with each carrying a maximum sentence of 10 years in jail and a US$25,000 (S$34,500) fine.

During one exchange, Agrusa suggested that Constand once enjoyed a romantic dinner at Cosby's home before the alleged assault.

Ms Constand, a Canadian basketball trainer who was 31 at the time of the alleged assault, said she had spurned the actor's romantic advances on two previous occasions but had not felt threatened. After it was over, and she could move her body again, she says she moved into Cosby's kitchen, where he gave her a muffin and some tea, then exited his house without saying anything to him, because "I felt really humiliated, and I was really confused".

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After a series of phone calls, Constand said Cosby began inviting her dinner at his house and other events, such as a jazz concert in NY. Under a settlement Constand and Cosby reached in 2006, Constand was prohibited from speaking publicly about her accusation. Cosby's lawyers have argued that the sexual encounter with Constand was consensual and have cited phone records showing she called the TV star 53 times afterward. As Mark Seal wrote for Vanity Fair, Constand's case-one of the few in which the statute of limitations has not run out, and the only one that has been brought to trial-is the one that could "bring Bill Cosby down for good".

Kelly Johnson testified on Day 1 that Cosby drugged and molested her at a Los Angeles hotel bungalow in 1996. "And I believed he supported numerous athletic programs", Constand said. She testified that's when Cosby assaulted her.

The trial is expected to take about 2 weeks. She awakened to find Cosby groping her and penetrating her with his hand.

"She couldn't say no", Feden said.

Constand said that Cosby became more flirtatious and suggestive during their friendship. "I wanted it to stop", she said.

Constand lost consciousness after Cosby helped her to the couch and provided a pillow for support, she said.

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"She could go to school", he said.

Later, the defense laid into Constand over several late-night phone calls made to Sherry Williams, Andrea's supposed former girlfriend.

Meanwhile, actress Lili Bernard, who is known for her appearance in The Cosby Show, spoke to the reporters after the court adjourned for the day.

But she admitted to staying in contact with Cosby after the alleged incident.

The Associated Press does not typically identify people who say they are sexual assault victims unless they grant permission, which Constand and Johnson have done.

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