Jury to hear Cosby’s ac­count of pills, sex

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS -

NOR­RIS­TOWN, Penn­syl­va­nia: 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 an ear­lier de­po­si­tion in which Cosby said he rou­tinely gave women pills and al­co­hol be­fore sex­ual en­coun­ters and gave at least one of them Quaaludes, a now­banned seda­tive.

The sub­ur­ban Philadel­phia jury on Wed­nes­day heard trial ac­cuser An­drea Con­stand of­fer her most di­rect de­nial yet that any of their ear­lier meet­ings were ro­man­tic.

“It wasn’t a ro­man­tic time, no,” Con­stand, 44, of Toronto, said of an ear­lier fire­side din­ner with Cosby, a trustee at Tem­ple Univer­sity, where she coached the women’s bas­ket­ball team.

The jury also heard Cosby’s voice on a 2006 tele­phone call, of­fer­ing Con­stand money for grad­u­ate school af­ter her mother called to con­front him about the en­counter at his home a year ear­lier.

“She could go to school,” he said. “If she wanted to do that, then I would be will­ing to… pay for the school­ing.”

Cosby, now 79, ac­knowl­edges in the de­po­si­tion from Con­stand’s re­lated law­suit that he gave her three blue pills be­fore fondling her breasts and pen­e­trat­ing her with his fin­gers. The only ques­tion for the jury is how to in­ter­pret the en­counter. Pros­e­cu­tors say she was too im­paired to give con­sent.

The de­fence lawyer sought to show that Con­stand changed her mind about the date of the al­leged as­sault. But Con­stand per­haps blunted the at­tack by say­ing she got con­fused and ini­tially thought the episode hap­pened in March 2004.

“I was mis­taken,” she said, un­flus­tered.

Gianna Con­stand, who fol­lowed her daugh­ter to the stand, sounded alarmed at the thought An­drea had been drugged and an­gry that they still don’t know what type of pills Cosby gave her. Con­stand said the pills left her paral­ysed and un­able to stop Cosby from pen­e­trat­ing her with his fin­ger and putting her

If she wanted to go to school, I was will­ing to… pay for her

hand on his gen­i­tals. She said she was still woozy when she woke up six hours later.

The de­fence spent hours on cross-ex­am­i­na­tion try­ing to sug­gest the sex­ual en­counter with Cosby was con­sen­sual, based on Con­stand’s pre­vi­ous vis­its to his home and con­tin­ued con­tact af­ter­wards.

Con­stand’s case is ex­pected to get to the jury some­time next week. Pros­e­cu­tors, be­fore then, plan to call an ex­pert in the be­hav­iour of sex­ual as­sault vic­tims to ex­plain why some re­main in con­tact with their abusers and wait be­fore lodg­ing a com­plaint.

The de­fence may call a mem­ory ex­pert to cast doubt on the ac­cu­racy of tes­ti­mony about long-ago events.

Cosby was ar­rested in 2015 af­ter his de­po­si­tion be­came pub­lic and pros­e­cu­tors re­opened an ear­lier 2005 in­ves­ti­ga­tion that ended with Cosby not be­ing charged.

“She has said the same thing from day one. She’s al­ways said he drugged her. She’s al­ways said she didn’t con­sent. She’s al­ways said it was dig­i­tal pen­e­tra­tion,” Con­stand’s lawyer Dolores Troiani said when Con­stand fin­ished her tes­ti­mony,

About 60 women have claimed Cosby sex­u­ally vi­o­lated them, but the statute of lim­i­ta­tions for prose­cu­tion had run out in nearly ev­ery case. Con­stand’s is the only one in which Cosby has been charged.

PIC­TURE: AP

‘ROU­TINE’: Bill Cosby gave women drugs, booze be­fore sex.

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