Cosby lawyers at­tack ac­cuser’s cred­i­bil­ity

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS -

NORRISTOWN, Penn­syl­va­nia: Bill Cosby’s lawyers yes­ter­day tried to un­der­mine the ac­count of the woman who ac­cused him of sex­u­ally as­sault­ing her in 2004, ques­tion­ing ap­par­ent in­con­sis­ten­cies in her state­ments to po­lice and sug­gest­ing she was af­ter money.

An­drea Con­stand, the key pros­e­cu­tion wit­ness, told ju­rors on Tuesday in a sub­ur­ban Philadel­phia court­room that Cosby gave her uniden­ti­fied pills at his home that he claimed would help her re­lax. In­stead, she said, the drugs left her “frozen” and un­able to re­sist as he sex­u­ally as­saulted her on his couch.

Cosby has faced al­le­ga­tions of sex­ual as­sault from dozens of women, though Con­stand’s ac­cu­sa­tion is the only one to lead to crim­i­nal charges. The 79-year-old en­ter­tainer, once known as “Amer­ica’s dad” for his role in the 1980s hit tele­vi­sion se­ries The Cosby Show, has de­nied all wrong­do­ing.

Con­stand, a for­mer women’s bas­ket­ball coach at Cosby’s alma mater, Tem­ple Uni­ver­sity, said she viewed him as a men­tor.

Cosby’s lawyer, An­gela Agrusa, fo­cused not on the de­tails of the al­leged as­sault, but on other as­pects of Con­stand’s nar­ra­tive, in­clud­ing dis­crep­an­cies in sev­eral po­lice in­ter­views Con­stand gave in 2005 when she de­cided to re­port the crime a year later.

At one point, Con­stand told po­lice the in­ci­dent likely oc­curred on March 16, 2004, af­ter din­ner with sev­eral peo­ple. She later amended that ac­count to some­time be­tween mid-Jan­uary and mid-Fe­bru­ary 2004, while on Tuesday she said it took place in early Jan­uary.

Agrusa dis­played Con­stand’s phone records to ju­rors, point­ing out that she made mul­ti­ple calls on the night of March 16.

“You were not drugged and un­con­scious on March 16, 2004, right?” the at­tor­ney asked.

“That’s right,” Con­stand said.

Other de­tails of Con­stand’s ac­count also shifted in state­ments to po­lice and in a de­po­si­tion dur­ing her civil law­suit in 2005. She ini­tially told of­fi­cers she had never been alone with Cosby be­fore the night of the in­ci­dent and that she had largely cut off con­tact with him after­wards, nei­ther of which was true.

Agrusa also sug­gested Con­stand was tai­lor­ing her story in or­der to sup­port her civil law­suit against Cosby. Us­ing phone records on Tuesday, Agrusa noted that Con­stand had called at least six dif­fer­ent lawyers, start­ing on the day she first re­ported the as­sault to po­lice.

Cosby does not plan to tes­tify, mean­ing the trial’s out­come will likely hinge on whether ju­rors be­lieve Con­stand’s tes­ti­mony. – Reuters


‘AMER­ICA’S DAD’: Bill Cosby, cen­tre, walks from the Montgomery County Court­house in Penn­syl­va­nia.

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