Cosby to po­lice: Ac­cuser didn’t ob­ject to, re­buff my ad­vances

Ac­cuser: Pills left me un­able to stop him

The Washington Times Daily - - NATION - BY MARYCLAIRE DALE AND MICHAEL R. SISAK

NORRISTOWN, PA. | Bill Cosby ac­knowl­edged to po­lice more than a decade ago that he fon­dled An­drea Con­stand af­ter giv­ing her what he said were cold-and-al­lergy pills to help her re­lax, ac­cord­ing to a state­ment in­tro­duced Thurs­day at the co­me­dian’s sex­ual-as­sault trial.

But Mr. Cosby also told po­lice that Ms. Con­stand showed no ill ef­fects from the 1 1/2 Be­nadryl tablets and never ob­jected to his be­hav­ior. The TV star said they had been ro­man­tic be­fore.

Mr. Cosby, 79, is charged with ag­gra­vated in­de­cent as­sault and could spend the rest of his life in prison if con­victed. He has said the sex­ual en­counter at his sub­ur­ban Philadel­phia home in 2004 was con­sen­sual.

The Jan­uary 2005 in­ter­view with po­lice was con­ducted at his lawyer’s of­fices in New York about a year af­ter the al­leged as­sault.

Asked by po­lice if he ever had sex with Ms. Con­stand, Mr. Cosby replied: “Never asleep or awake.”

“I never in­tended to have sex­ual in­ter­course, like naked bod­ies, with An­drea. We are fully clothed. We are pet­ting. I en­joyed it. And then I stopped, and I went up to bed,” he said, ac­cord­ing to the state­ment read to the jury.

Prose­cu­tors de­cided against charg­ing Mr. Cosby at the time, shut­ting down a po­lice in­ves­ti­ga­tion af­ter four weeks.

A sergeant tes­ti­fied Thurs­day that then-District At­tor­ney Bruce Cas­tor closed the probe hours af­ter po­lice met to re­view their next steps.

“We had been dis­cussing in­ves­tiga­tive leads and where they were go­ing,” Sgt. Richard Schaf­fer of the Chel­tenham Po­lice De­part­ment told the jury on Day 4 of the co­me­dian’s trial.

Mr. Cas­tor an­nounced in 2005 that Mr. Cosby would not be charged be­cause the ev­i­dence had shown both par­ties “could be held in less than a flat­ter­ing light.” He said he was con­cerned that Ms. Con­stand had stayed in touch with Mr. Cosby and waited a year to call po­lice.

A new set of prose­cu­tors brought charges against Mr. Cosby a decade later, af­ter a judge un­sealed the comic’s tes­ti­mony from a law­suit brought against him by Ms. Con­stand. In his de­po­si­tion, he talked about giv­ing pills and al­co­hol to women he wanted to have sex with.

Ms. Con­stand, 44, of Toronto, di­rected the women’s bas­ket­ball team at Mr. Cosby’s alma mater, Tem­ple Univer­sity, where he was a pow­er­ful trustee.

She tes­ti­fied this week that Mr. Cosby pen­e­trated her with his fin­gers against her will af­ter giv­ing her pills that left her so limp that she was un­able to push him away or tell him to stop. She de­nied they had a pre­vi­ous ro­man­tic re­la­tion­ship and said she had re­buffed his pre­vi­ous sex­ual ad­vances.

On Thurs­day, a for­mer neigh­bor, Purna Rod­man Conare, tes­ti­fied that Ms. Con­stand be­came dis­tant and with­drawn in the months af­ter she said the en­ter­tainer drugged and vi­o­lated her. Ms. Conare said Ms. Con­stand’s open, easy­go­ing per­son­al­ity changed dras­ti­cally in early 2004.

Mr. Cosby’s lawyers also seized on a pair of phone calls she made to him on Valen­tine’s Day, weeks af­ter the al­leged as­sault, as the de­fense con­tin­ued its ef­fort to show Ms. Con­stand main­tained con­tact with Mr. Cosby af­ter­ward and was in a ro­man­tic re­la­tion­ship with him.

Ms. Con­stand pre­vi­ously tes­ti­fied she was sim­ply re­turn­ing Mr. Cosby’s mes­sages about the women’s bas­ket­ball pro­gram at Tem­ple. She said she felt com­pelled to do so be­cause of Mr. Cosby’s Tem­ple con­nec­tion.

Ev­i­dence pre­sented Thurs­day showed that the team had a game on Feb. 14, 2004, and that Ms. Con­stand called the team’s coach be­tween calls to Mr. Cosby.

Some 60 women have come for­ward to say Mr. Cosby sex­u­ally vi­o­lated them, but the statute of lim­i­ta­tions for pros­e­cu­tion had run out in nearly ev­ery case. Ms. Con­stand’s case is the only one in which Mr. Cosby has been charged.

On Day 4 of the Bill Cosby trial, the jury heard a state­ment from the co­me­dian to po­lice. He said his ac­cuser showed no ill ef­fects from the pill he gave her.

An­drea Con­stand ar­rives dur­ing Bill Cosby’s sex­ual as­sault trial at the Mont­gomery County Court­house in Norristown, Penn­syl­va­nia, on Wed­nes­day. She has ac­cused him of drug­ging and sex­u­ally as­sault­ing her in 2004. More than 60 women have ac­cused Mr. Cosby of sex­ual as­sault.

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