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Thursday October 19th, 2017 12:40PM

The Latest: Cosby attorneys seize on Valentine's Day calls

By The Associated Press
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NORRISTOWN, Pa. (AP) — The Latest on the sexual assault case against Bill Cosby (all times local):

3:05 p.m.

Bill Cosby's lawyers are seizing on a pair of phone calls his chief accuser made to him on Valentine's Day, just weeks after she says he drugged and violated her at his suburban Philadelphia home.

In court Thursday, Cosby's lawyers tried to show that Constand continued to have contact with Cosby and was in a romantic relationship with him.

Constand previously testified she simply was returning Cosby's messages. She has said she felt compelled to do so because she was director of women's basketball operations at Temple University and he was a powerful trustee there.

Constand has said the calls pertained only to Temple women's basketball and stopped once she left the university at the end of March 2004.

Evidence presented Thursday shows the team had a game on Feb. 14, 2004. Phone records presented also showed Constand called the team's coach between calls to Cosby.

___

12:30 p.m.

Jurors at Bill Cosby's sexual assault trial have heard from a police interview in which the entertainer admits fondling a woman's breasts and genitals after giving her pills at his suburban Philadelphia home.

A transcript of the January 2005 interview has been read into the court record during testimony Thursday.

In the interview, Cosby says Andrea Constand showed no ill effects from the one-and-a-half Benadryl pills he gave her to help her relax, and that she never objected to his behavior.

Constand testified Tuesday that she hadn't given Cosby permission to touch her and that the pills had left her paralyzed and unable to fight him off during the January 2004 encounter.

Cosby told investigators he had a social and romantic relationship with Constand and that they'd engaged in petting-type behavior with her before, but never intercourse.

___

12:20 p.m.

A former neighbor of Bill Cosby's chief accuser says she became distant and withdrawn in the months after she says the entertainer drugged and violated her at his suburban Philadelphia home.

Purna Rodman Conare testified on Thursday at Cosby's sexual assault trial.

He says accuser Andrea Constand's open, easygoing personality changed drastically in early 2004, and that her March 2004 departure from her job with Temple University's women's basketball team seemed abrupt.

Constand says Cosby assaulted her in January 2004 after giving her three blue pills he said were an herbal remedy to help her relax.

Rodman Conare, who now runs a charity in New Jersey, lived in the same Philadelphia condominium complex as Constand in the early 2000s. He says he saw himself as an older brother or father-type figure for Constand and that they're still friends. He says he wasn't aware of the alleged assault at the time.

Constand didn't go to police until January 2005. A police detective who testified Thursday says investigators interviewed Rodman Conare and other neighbors after Constand came forward, but one woman in the building lobby refused.

Cheltenham Township Sgt. Richard Schaffer says that woman told investigators, "Temple University told her not to speak to police."

Temple didn't respond to a request for comment.

___

8:50 a.m.

Bill Cosby has arrived at a courthouse in suburban Philadelphia for the fourth day of his sexual assault trial.

The 79-year-old actor was accompanied Thursday by fellow actors and comedians Joe Torry and Lewis Dix. On Wednesday, actress Sheila Frazier and her hairstylist husband, John Atchison, arrived with Cosby. Earlier in the week, Cosby was supported by Keshia Knight-Pulliam, who played the youngest daughter, Rudy, on "The Cosby Show."

The bulk of Wednesday's session was taken up by the defense's cross-examination of primary accuser Andrea Constand. She says Cosby fondled her breasts and genitals after drugging her at his suburban Philadelphia home in January 2004.

Cosby's lawyers scoured Constand's police statements for inconsistencies and her phone records for evidence she'd continued to interact with him.

Constand's mother, Gianna, also testified.

___

12:40 a.m.

A jury that heard seven hours of testimony from a woman who says Bill Cosby drugged and assaulted her may soon hear from Cosby himself — even if he doesn't take the stand.

Prosecutors are expected to show jurors the candid statements he made about giving accuser Andrea Constand three unmarked pills in 2004 before engaging in sex acts with her.

The 79-year-old Cosby answered questions for four days about Constand and other accusers in the deposition he gave in her 2005 lawsuit. Cosby was arrested after it became public in 2015. He says he had a romantic relationship with Constand.

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

Jurors are expected to get the case next week.

___

For more on Cosby, including trial updates, historical photos, videos and an audio series exploring the case, visit: www.apnews.com/tag/CosbyonTrial

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