NORRISTOWN, Pa. (Reuters) – The woman whose accusation brought Bill Cosby to trial in Pennsylvania on sex-assault charges testified on Friday that the comedian drugged and raped her in 2004 and she was terrified to tell anyone for months afterward.
It was the second time that accuser Andrea Constand, 45, confronted the 80-year-old entertainer in the suburban Philadelphia courtroom. The jury in Cosby’s first trial on the charges was unable to reach a verdict in June.
Constand is one of about 50 women who have accused the man known as the wise patriarch in the TV hit “The Cosby Show” of sexually assaulting them in attacks dating back decades. Hers is the only one recent enough to be the subject of criminal prosecution.
Constand, who worked at Cosby’s alma mater Temple University at the time of the alleged attack, said she went to Cosby’s house to discuss a potential career change. Cosby gave her three blue pills that he said would relax her.
She testified that the pills made her feel woozy. Cosby walked her to a sofa and laid her down.
“The next thing I recall, I was kind of jolted awake,” Constand said. “My vagina was being penetrated quite forcefully. I felt my breasts being touched. He put my hand on his penis and masturbated himself with my hand. I was not able to do a thing.”
Cosby has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing and said that any sexual encounters he had were consensual. His lawyers have portrayed Constand as a gold-digging con artist.
Constand testified that she did not tell anyone of the attack until January 2005, about a year after it she has said it occurred, because she feared coming forward. She ultimately confided in her mother.
“I was scared,” Constand said. “I was all over the place in my mind. I didn’t know where to turn.”
She said she told her mother, “Mr. Cosby sexually violated me… Gave me three blue pills and sexually violated me without my consent.”
With Constand living in her native Canada by this time, they went to the Durham Regional Police in Ontario and later told her brother-in-law, a Toronto police detective.
Constand said her mother spoke with Cosby by phone, and he confessed and apologized. That phone call was not recorded.
Cosby’s representative, Marty Singer, later called and left a message, which was recorded, offering to set up an educational trust for Constand. She did not return the call.
Constand’s testimony largely repeated points she made in Cosby’s first trial last year. This trial is different in that five other women who accuse Cosby of sexually assaulting them have also testified.
This trial follows the rise of the #MeToo movement in which women have come forth to accuse prominent men in politics, business and entertainment of sexual harassment and assault dating back years.
Cosby could face 10 years in prison if convicted.
Reporting by David DeKok; Editing by Barbara Goldberg and Cynthia Osterman