clear
Saturday April 21st, 2018 2:46PM

Chief Cosby accuser says she was too weak to 'fight him off'

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

NORRISTOWN, Pa. (AP) — Bill Cosby's chief accuser took the witness stand for the second time to tell a story of molestation and broken trust, describing for jurors how the comedian knocked her out with three blue pills and then sexually assaulted her at his home.

"I was weak. I was limp, and I just could not fight him off," said Andrea Constand, who found herself in the same cavernous courtroom on Friday less than a year after a jury was unable to reach a verdict on charges against Cosby.

Her harrowing account of the events in 2004 was consistent with the one she gave at last year's trial in suburban Philadelphia, and jurors watched intently and scribbled notes as she told how Cosby, the good-guy celebrity she viewed as a mentor and friend, had betrayed her.

"Ms. Constand, why are you here?" prosecutor Kristen Feden asked.

"For justice," Constand said.

The defense has blasted Constand as a "con artist" who leveled false accusations against the star as part of a scheme to get money from him.

During cross-examination Friday, Cosby lawyer Tom Mesereau went through a thick binder of Constand's police statements and prior testimony as he tried to poke holes in her story. But the jury heard only minor discrepancies between what she said in the past and her account on the witness stand.

And, after telling jurors in his opening statement that Constand had operated a Ponzi scheme while running women's basketball operations at Temple University, Mesereau's evidence was a cut-and-paste email that Constand sent for a friend years ago. She testified that she barely remembered it.

The defense was expected to continue its cross-examination on Monday.

Under questioning by the prosecution, Constand said Cosby offered her pills and a sip of wine after she said she was "stressed" about telling the Temple basketball coach of her plans to leave to study massage therapy in her native Canada. She said Cosby, a Temple alum and powerful trustee, called the pills "your friends" and told her they would "help take the edge off."

Instead, Constand said, the pills made her black out. She awoke to find the actor known as "America's Dad" penetrating her with his fingers, touching her breast and putting her hand on his penis.

She said she wanted Cosby to stop but couldn't say anything. She tried moving her arms and legs but couldn't do that either.

Constand said she awoke between 4 a.m. and 5 a.m. to find her bra up around her neck and her pants half unzipped. 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."

Afterward, Constand said, "I was really humiliated. I was in shock. And I was really confused."

The now 80-year-old entertainer has said he gave Constand the cold medicine Benadryl and that she consented to a sexual encounter.

Constand testified she decided to report the assault to police in January 2005, about a year later, jarred to action by a nightmare and an increasing awareness of consent issues from her ongoing massage therapy training.

"I didn't want it to happen to anybody else, what had happened to me," she said.

She said she was "very scared" about going to police because "he was a Temple trustee. A very powerful man. An entertainer. A very famous person."

Constand's allegation is the only one among dozens against Cosby that has led to criminal charges. If convicted, the former TV star best known for his No. 1 family sitcom "The Cosby Show" faces up to 10 years in prison on each of three related aggravated indecent assault charges.

A jury deadlocked after last year's trial, unable to reach a verdict after more than 52 hours of deliberations over six days.

For this trial, prosecutors had the strategic advantage of putting Constand on the witness stand after a parade of other accusers who told jurors that Cosby had used the same tactics on them: preying on women who saw him as a mentor, debilitating them with pills or alcohol and then violating them when they were unable to fight back. Just one other accuser was permitted to testify at the first trial.

The defense has called the other accusers irrelevant, urging jurors to focus only on the charges that Cosby is facing.

Mesereau, best known for winning an acquittal in Michael Jackson's 2005 child molestation case, told jurors in his opening statement that Constand was a pauper who stiffed roommates on bills and racked up big credit card debt until she "hit the jackpot" in 2006, when Cosby paid her $3.4 million to settle her civil lawsuit over the assault allegation.

Cosby's lawyers say Constand outlined her get-rich scheme to a Temple colleague, Marguerite Jackson. The defense plans to call Jackson as a witness and says she will testify that Constand mused about framing a celebrity before she lodged sexual abuse allegations against Cosby in 2005.

Jackson, a longtime Temple official, has said that she and Constand worked closely together, had been friends and had shared hotel rooms several times. She has said Constand once commented to her about setting up a "high-profile person" and filing suit.

Constand testified Friday that she remembers having a hotel room to herself at Temple's away basketball games and did not recall ever rooming with Jackson.

She told the jury she had nothing to gain financially by wanting Cosby locked up, saying "there is no upside" to her testimony. She said she was hesitant to get involved when prosecutors reopened the criminal investigation in 2015, saying she feared a flood of media attention and pain for her loved ones but decided to cooperate because it was the "right thing to do."

"This was a matter that was tugging at my heart, because I had moved on and I had healed an old wound and now I could slowly feel this wound opening up again," she said.

The AP does not typically identify people who say they are victims of sexual assault unless they grant permission, which Constand and the other women have done.

___

Associated Press Writer Claudia Lauer in Norristown contributed to this story.

___

Follow Mike Sisak at www.twitter.com/mikesisak .

___

For more coverage visit www.apnews.com/tag/CosbyonTrial .

  • Associated Categories: U.S. News, Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Basketball, AP National News, AP Online National News, Top U.S. News short headlines, Top General short headlines, College Sports, AP Entertainment, APOnline Celebrity News, AP Sports - Women's College Basketball
© Copyright 2018 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Chief Cosby accuser says she was too weak to 'fight him off'
Bill Cosby's chief accuser has taken the witness stand for the second time to tell a story of molestation and broken trust
7:48PM ( 5 minutes ago )
Main Cosby accuser says she was too weak to 'fight him off'
Bill Cosby's chief accuser has taken the witness stand for the second time to tell a story of molestation and broken trust
7:39PM ( 15 minutes ago )
Trump cries "slime ball" after former FBI director slams him
President Donald Trump is firing back at the sharply critical book by former FBI director James Comey. Trump blasts Comey as an "untruthful slime ball" on Twitter, saying, "It was my great honor to fire James Comey!"
7:37PM ( 16 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Robert Wickens an instant fit in new IndyCar job
James Hinchcliffe lobbied hard for his childhood friend from Canada to become his new teammate
7:03PM ( 51 minutes ago )
Busch brothers will start on the front row at Bristol
NASCAR points leader Kyle Busch edged older brother Kurt Busch by 0.002 seconds to take the pole for the Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway
6:39PM ( 1 hour ago )
Down 0-1, Avalanche need to slow down Preds' Filip Forsberg
The Colorado Avalanche are down 0-1 in their first-round playoff series against Nashville
6:22PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Sports
Process no more: 76ers' awaited playoff push starts vs. Heat
The Philadelphia 76ers open Game 1 of the playoffs against the Miami Heat on Saturday
4:44PM ( 3 hours ago )
Thunder play-by-play man Davis suspended 1 game for comment
Thunder play-by-play man Brian Davis suspended 1 game for racially insensitive comment
3:07PM ( 4 hours ago )
Hornets fire coach Steve Clifford after 5 seasons
Hornets fire coach Steve Clifford after team fails to reach playoffs for 3rd time in 4 seasons
1:58PM ( 5 hours ago )
AP Online Basketball
Griffin III hopes to start anew as a backup QB with Ravens
Griffin III ready to forget the past and 'go forward as a new player' with Baltimore Ravens
1:32PM ( 2 days ago )
Villanova guard Jalen Brunson declares for NBA draft
Villanova guard Jalen Brunson, the AP player of the year declares for NBA draft; teammate Mikal Bridges makes same decision
10:23AM ( 2 days ago )
Trump hails championship Alabama football team
President Donald Trump is praising the University of Alabama football team for their latest championship season
7:20PM ( 3 days ago )
College Sports
Leader of secretive group ordered by judge to stay in jail
The leader of a secretive group accused of coercing female followers into having sex and getting branded with his initials has been ordered to remain in jail
7:11PM ( 42 minutes ago )
Trial begins in civil case focused on David Copperfield show
An attorney for a British man who says he slipped, fell and injured while he participated in a disappearing illusion at magician David Copperfield's Las Vegas show says the act was "an accident waiting to happen."
7:07PM ( 46 minutes ago )
Cosby accuser's account remains consistent through 2 trials
For the second time in less than a year, Bill Cosby's chief accuser has taken the witness stand and told a jury that he tricked her into taking a powerful drug and then humiliated her for his own sexual gratification
6:50PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Entertainment
The Latest: Cosby lawyers cross-examining chief accuser
Bill Cosby's chief accuser is undergoing cross-examination at his sex assault retrial
3:29PM ( 4 hours ago )
Tambor accuser says she hopes 'Transparent' comes back
An actress who accused 'Transparent' star Jeffrey Tambor of sexual harassment says she's glad she came forward and is grateful for the support she's received, but doesn't know the show's fate
3:02PM ( 4 hours ago )
The Latest: Allred: Don't use money against Cosby accuser
Bill Cosby's chief accuser has told a jury that he drugged her with three blue pills and then sexually assaulted her at his suburban Philadelphia home in 2004
2:11PM ( 5 hours ago )
APOnline Celebrity News
Ogunbowale puts stamp on thrilling women's hoops season
Arike Ogunbowale put an exclamation point on a thrilling women's college basketball season
5:57PM ( 1 week ago )
Most in Cosby jury pool have made up minds, know of #MeToo
More than half of the 120 potential jurors being questioned in Bill Cosby's sexual assault retrial say they've already formed an opinion about the comedian's guilt or innocence
5:19PM ( 1 week ago )
Irish eyes are rocking: Notre Dame lifted by wild title win
Historic comeback, epic shot sends Notre Dame to a 2nd national championship
5:04PM ( 1 week ago )
AP Sports - Women's College Basketball
Main Cosby accuser says she was too weak to 'fight him off'
Bill Cosby's chief accuser has taken the witness stand for the second time to tell a story of molestation and broken trust
7:39PM ( 15 minutes ago )
Trump cries "slime ball" after former FBI director slams him
President Donald Trump is firing back at the sharply critical book by former FBI director James Comey. Trump blasts Comey as an "untruthful slime ball" on Twitter, saying, "It was my great honor to fire James Comey!"
7:37PM ( 16 minutes ago )
Video: Will Ferrell treated after rollover freeway crash
Video shows actor Will Ferrell treated by paramedics after a rollover crash on a Los Angeles-area freeway
7:26PM ( 27 minutes ago )
Trump vows to back law to protect marijuana industry
President Trump has promised to support legislation protecting the marijuana industry in states that have legalized the drug, a move that could lift a threat to the industry made by the U.S. attorney general just three months ago
7:25PM ( 29 minutes ago )
Panama president: Trump company letter on hotel a mistake
Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela says Trump Organization lawyers made a mistake by sending a letter to his office in which they appealed for the leader's help in a fight over the control of a luxury hotel
7:23PM ( 31 minutes ago )