Andrea Constand, the woman accusing Bill Cosby, took the stand Tuesday in Norristown, Pennsylvania and delivered a strong testimony that she was “humiliated” after the 79-year-old actor gave her pills and sexually assaulted her at his home in 2004, NBC News reports.
“I was frozen…I was very limp,” Constand stated as Cosby, sitting a few feet away, put his forehead in his hand and shook his head.
“I wanted it to stop.”
The trial in Montgomery Country Court lasted about four hours. During the two-hour intense cross-examination, the defense attempted to highlight inconsistencies between Constand’s testimony and what she reported to the police of the alleged assault a year later.
“I told them [police] the truth,” Constand stated. “I also testified that I was really nervous and I wasn’t able to recall every particular moment that I had seen Mr. Cosby in order of dates. There was a lot, 16 months to try to compress.”
She often spoke directly to the jurors, as encouraged by the prosecutor, and her voice calm as she recalled how she met Cosby while she was the director of operations for the women’s basketball team at Temple University, his alma mater. She said she met him through a well-respected donor of Temple University sports.
“I think, in general, he may have reached out to get to know me, what I did there as director of operations,” Constand stated. “As time passed, I think Mr. Cosby just generally wanted to get to know me. I think the questions turned personal, like, ‘Where are you from?’ and ‘Did you play basketball yourself?'”
“Eventually, he asked me to come up to his house to talk about basketball,” she said. “I really didn’t see a problem in it at all [giving him my personal cell phone number]. It seemed natural.”
There were few “suggestive” instances, she said, like when he touched her thigh during the first dinner at his mansion. At another dinner, he sat close to her and put his hand on the button and zipper of her pants, she told him, “I don’t want that.”
The prosecutor asked if she could remember any other time she saw Cosby face to face.
Constand lowered her head and put her hand to her face after a long silence.
“Yes,” she softly said.
Then followed her story of what happened when Cosby invited her to his suburban Philadelphia house in January 2004 to talk about her career plans to switch from athletics to massage therapy.
Her mentor went upstairs after 30 minutes of conversation and returned with three pills he told her were “herbal,” she said.
According to Constand, Cosby said that “They’re your friends. They’ll take the edge off.”
“I said ‘I trust you,’” she said. “I took the pills and swallowed them down.”
She said she started seeing double and when she tried to stand up, “my legs were not strong and I began to panic a little bit,” she stated.
She said Cosby led her to a couch and then she passed out.
“I jolted awake and I felt Mr. Cosby’s hand groping my breasts under my shirt,” she testified, adding that he then penetrated her with his fingers. “And I felt him take my hand and place it on his penis and move it back and forth,” she stated.
Cosby, who was sitting at the defense table, rubbed his forehead and shook his head as Constand continued her testimony.
She said she lost consciousness again and it was about 4 a.m. when she woke up and Cosby was there, offering her a muffin and tea.
“I felt really humiliated and I was really confused,” she said as her voice cracks. “I just wanted to go home.”
Constand reported the alleged attack in January 2005, after she had resigned at Temple and returned to her native land Canada. She started having nightmares and confided in her mother, who called the police and also called Cosby to confront him by phone.
The defense zeroed in on Constand’s calls to civil lawyers in the days before and after she told the police. Neither parties is allowed to mention Constand’s 2005 lawsuit against Cosby or the settlement they struck the following year, but the defense openly wanted the jury to think Constand was looking for a payday.
Cosby’s attorney, Angela Agrusa, also probed the Canadian police report, which stated that Constand told investigators she had known Cosby for only six months, that she had never been alone with him before January 2004, and that her contacts with him were “rare and brief” after the assault.
Constand admitted she might have misspoken at points but also clarified some of her statements, noting, for instance, that a chef had been at the mansion during some of her dinners with Cosby, so they were not technically alone.
Cosby’s defense team presented as evidence a list of 72 phone calls that the comedian and Constand made to each other after the night in question and before she called police.
“Yes, there were calls,” Constand responded with a small sigh.
Pennsylvania lawyer and law instructor Dennis McAndrews who was in the courtroom for Constand’s testimony, said she was a strong witness, while the “slow-paced” cross-examination didn’t do extreme damage.
“They succeeded in raising some questions, but I doubt any juror is convinced she’s a liar,” McAndrews explained.
Constand’s civil attorney, Dolores Troiani, said her client held her own.
“She was very brave,” she stated. “It’s so intimidating but yet she managed to maintain her composure.”
Constand will be back on the stand Wednesday for the third day of trial. “Just getting started,” Agrusa said outside the courthouse.
Cosby seemed to be in good spirits as he left the court, exclaiming to the crowd, “Hey, hey, hey,” the catchphrase from Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids, his 1970s TV show.
According to NBC News, the actor has pleaded not guilty to three counts of aggravated indecent assault against Constand, the only criminal charges stemming from dozens of allegations of sexual misconduct charged against him in the last two years. He denies all accusations.