Andrea Constand

Andrea Constand

Pool photo

Bill Cosby trial: Accuser Andrea Constand describes assault in first testimony

On the second day of the comedian’s trial in Norristown, the alleged victim took the stand.

Andrea Constand

Andrea Constand

Pool photo
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NORRISTOWN — Andrea Constand felt “humiliated.” And she just wanted to go home.

The woman at the center of the only criminal charges filed against disgraced comedian Bill Cosby testified publicly for the first time in the criminal case against him today, telling jurors in Montgomery County that the actor drugged and sexually assaulted her — and that she felt embarrassed after the incident.

Despite dozens of accusations of sexual assault lodged against the comedian, the criminal case related to Constand is the only one Cosby faces. Constand said that in January 2004, she went to Cosby’s Cheltenham home to discuss career moves with him, whom she saw as a mentor of sorts at the time. She said Cosby offered three small, blue pills which he led her to believe were herbal supplements of some sort.

After she took them, things got blurry.

“I began to slur my words and I also told Mr. Cosby that I had trouble seeing him, that I could see two of him,” she testified. “… When I stood up, my legs were not strong and I began to panic a little bit, and Mr. Cosby helped me by my arm and he assisted me over to a couch and said just relax.”

She described the move to the couch took place about 20 or 30 minutes after she ingested the pills. Constand testified that she was “in no state of mind” to leave the house at the time.

“I have no recollection until, at some point later, I was jolted conscious — jolted awake,” she testified. “And I felt Mr. Cosby’s hand groping my breasts under my shirt. I also felt his hand inside my vagina moving in and out. And I felt him take my hand and place it on his penis and move it back and forth. “

She testified that she was unable to tell him to stop, and that she felt “frozen.” She said she went into the kitchen once she was able to move, Cosby gave her a cup of a tea and a muffin and she left without saying a word.

“I felt really humiliated,” she said, “and I was really confused.”

Constand said she had contact with Cosby again after the alleged assault, saying that she saw him at his home again with the hopes of asking him what the pills were that he gave her. She said she asked Cosby point-blank what he gave her.

“And Mr. Cosby looked at me and said ‘I thought you had an orgasm, didn’t you?'” she testified. “And I said ‘I did not, I just want to know what you gave me.’ And he said ‘wait, wait, wait,’ and he wanted to speak to me very close to where the incident occurred… I realized at that point that he was not going to tell me what he gave to me that night.” And so she left.

Constand testified under direct examination for about an hour Tuesday afternoon ahead of a short break in testimony at about 3:15 p.m. She’s expected to continue testifying through the afternoon. Though she teared up a few times on the stand, Constand seemed collected, sitting up straight on the stand and making eye contact with jurors. At several points during her testimony, Cosby put his head in his hands and shook his head “no.”

The former Temple University employee told the jury that she first met Cosby in 2002 — when she was working at Temple as the director of basketball operations — at a basketball game at the Liacouras Center. She told of how Cosby continued to contact her after their first meeting, inquiring about her personal life and inviting her to a handful of gatherings at his home.

Constand first came forward to police in 2005, telling officials in Cheltenham that a year prior in 2004, Cosby drugged and sexually assaulted her inside his home. At the time, the district attorney declined to file charges. Constand sued Cosby and settled for an undisclosed amount.

It was that civil suit that served as the basis for the criminal charges filed against him in late 2015. Now-District Attorney Kevin Steele — who campaigned on the premise of reopening the investigation into Cosby’s conduct — used those depositions as the basis for aggravated indecent assault charges filed against the comedian just a few days before the statute of limitations was up.

A second woman who said Cosby sexually assaulted her, Kelly Johnson, testified Monday. She told jurors that she first met Cosby in the 1990s when she was working as an assistant his agent, Tom Illius, at the William Morris Agency. She said on one occasion in 1996, she met Cosby in a bungalow at the Bel Air Hotel for lunch when he offered her a pill to help her “relax.”

When she came to, Johnson testified through sobs, she was on his bed with her dress undone and he was next to her. She testified that she woke up later in her home with no recollection of getting there.

Cosby has pleaded not guilty to the charges and has denied the allegations against him, claiming the encounter with Constand was consensual.

Multiple women who have publicly accused Cosby of sexual assault were in the courtroom today, as was Gloria Allred, the nationally-recognized attorney representing about 30 of Cosby’s alleged victims.