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Politics

Jury to Hear Bill Cosby’s Testimony on Andrea Constand’s Abuse Assertion

NORRISTOWN, Pa. (AP) — Jurors at Bill Cosby’s sexual assault trial have heard excerpts from the comedian’s lurid, decade-old deposition, but explosive sections about him obtaining quaaludes and giving them to women before sex are yet to come.

Prosecutors on Friday are expected to continue focusing on Cosby’s testimony, giving jurors a look at his view of women, sex and the night in January 2004 that Andrea Constand says he drugged and violated her at his suburban Philadelphia home.

The 79-year-old Cosby has said he will not testify, giving his deposition from Constand’s civil lawsuit and a prior police interview added weight as jurors consider charges that could put him in prison for the rest of his life.

A detective on Thursday read portions of the deposition covering what Cosby described as several sexual encounters with Constand, including one before the alleged assault where he said he found himself “somewhere between permission and rejection.”

Friday’s excerpts are expected to include an exchange where Cosby, once known as America’s Dad, acknowledges using quaaludes in his pursuit of women for sex.

“When you got the quaaludes, was it in your mind that you were going to use these quaaludes for young women that you wanted to have sex with?” Cosby was asked.

“Yes,” he replied.

Cosby testified in 2005 and 2006 as part of a lawsuit brought against him by Constand, the former director of women’s basketball operations at his alma mater, Temple University.

Constand testified this week she rejected Cosby’s advances and would have fought him off again had the pills not left her paralyzed and semi-conscious.

He has said the sexual encounter was consensual.

Cosby eventually settled with Constand for an undisclosed sum, and his deposition was sealed for years, until a judge released parts of it in 2015 at the request of The Associated Press.

A detective said Thursday the investigation was reopened just seven days after the deposition excerpts were unsealed.

Constand, 44, testified that 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.

In the deposition, Cosby said he gave Constand three half-tablets of the cold and allergy medicine Benadryl before the “petting” began.

Prosecutors have suggested he drugged her with something stronger, perhaps the quaaludes he admitted obtaining decades ago.

Also Thursday, a detective testified that Bruce Castor, the district attorney who decided more than a decade ago not to bring charges against Cosby, shut the investigation down in 2005 while police were still working the case.

Cheltenham police Sgt. Richard Schaffer’s testimony could blunt efforts by Cosby’s lawyers to exploit the fact that Castor saw no case. Castor, who has long been out of office, is on the list of potential witnesses at the trial.

Castor ended the investigation after four weeks.

He testified last year that he had talked with Cosby’s lawyer before making his decision and that it was intended to let Cosby speak freely at a potential civil deposition — the same deposition that prosecutors are now relying on at his trial.

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

The Associated Press does not typically identify people who say they are victims of sexual assault unless they grant permission, which Constand has done.

MARYCLAIRE DALE
MICHAEL R. SISAK

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