Cosby Accuser Andrea Constand Says She Takes The Stand 'For Justice' Constand took the stand Friday morning in Bill Cosby's criminal sexual assault retrial. Prosecution had warmed up jurors with three days of testimony from five other women.

Cosby Accuser Andrea Constand Says She Takes The Stand 'For Justice'

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MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Bill Cosby was back in court this week. He is being tried again for allegedly drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand in 2004. The first trial last year ended in a deadlocked jury. Six of Cosby's accusers testified against him this week, including Constand.

Laura Benshoff from member station WHYY is at the courthouse outside Philadelphia, and she joins us now. Hey, Laura.

LAURA BENSHOFF, BYLINE: Hi, Mary Louise.

KELLY: So Andrea Constand took the stand today. And I want you to walk her - walk us through her testimony. But before you do, let me give this warning to our listeners. This is going to be a description of an alleged sexual assault.

BENSHOFF: Andrea Constand testified that she was working for Temple University when she met Cosby. He was a trustee there. And they met at a basketball game. He inquired about the locker room facilities, and she oversaw the facilities. And she said she'd known him for about a year and a half and had a kind of friendly mentor-like relationship when he invited her to his house outside of Philadelphia in January 2004.

And she was looking for some career advice at the time. She said she was really anxious about quitting her job. And in response, he offered her three blue pills saying, these are your friends. Put them down. They'll help you relax. And she told jurors that those pills made her woozy, made her vision blur. She saw two of Cosby. And that he led her to a couch where she passed out. The next thing she remembers, she told the jury, is that she was jolted awake because she could feel Cosby's fingers in her vagina. And she was unable to move. Then she passed out again.

And throughout this graphic testimony she never really lost her composure, though at times she did kind of go very still. But the most emotional she got was when she talked about the toll of the alleged assault and toll the media coverage of it has taken on her and her family.

KELLY: Laura, the prosecution also heard from five other women this week, five other women who have also made sexual assault accusations against Cosby. What did the jury hear from them?

BENSHOFF: So in the first trial the jury got to hear from one other woman, and this time they got five. And these women all say they met Cosby in the 1980s. Some were aspiring models or food service workers. And one was someone you might have heard of - Janice Dickinson, the former model and reality TV star. And they all told the jury that Cosby gave them some sort of intoxicant that incapacitated them. And they either remember a sexual assault or they blacked out and later felt evidence of one and/or contact against their will.

And so those - so there are those parallels with Constand's story, and there are other parallels as well. You know, some also describe a mentoring or grooming relationship with Cosby, him reaching out to them and offering some form of career advice. And they all say, no, they could not and did not consent.

And that's really the key for why they were allowed to testify this time for the prosecution because Cosby doesn't face any criminal charges for their claims, right? But their claims are allowed under this kind of narrow evidentiary rule that says, you know, this allows the prosecution to get at something they can't show otherwise. You know, what did Cosby know when he gave Constand those pills, and what was his motive?

KELLY: Well, let me ask you about Cosby's defense. He's brought in a new legal team for this trial, right? Have they given any sort of hint as to how they're going to challenge Constand's story?

BENSHOFF: Yes. In opening statements his lead attorney, Tom Mesereau, made a pretty forceful framing for this idea that Constand is a, quote, "con man." He said Cosby confided in her that he never got over the murder...

KELLY: OK.

BENSHOFF: ...Of his son Ennis and was lonely. And there is a new piece of evidence that they are going to bring into that. Cosby paid Constand nearly $3.4 million over a decade ago.

KELLY: Lots more evidence to come then. Laura Benshoff from member station WHYY, thank you.

BENSHOFF: Thank you.

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