June 7 (UPI) — On Day 2 of Bill Cosby‘s criminal sexual assault trial, his accuser, Andrea Constant, testified she became “frozen” after the entertainer drugged her in 2004.
Cosby faces charges that he drugged and assaulted Constand, a former Temple University employee, at his Philadelphia home. Constand was the women’s basketball team manager at Cosby’s alma mater.
Cosby faces a 10-year prison term if convicted. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
While on the stand on Tuesday, Constand said she rejected Cosby’s casual advances twice before he offered her three blue pills after dinner during one encounter.
“What are they — are they natural? Are they herbal?” Constand recalled during testimony. “He said ‘put them down [your throat]. They’re your friends; they’ll take the edge off.”
Constand described Cosby as someone who she thought was a “Temple friend, somebody I trusted, a mentor, and somewhat of an older figure to me.” Because of that trust, Constand said she took the pills despite reservations.
“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, and my mouth was very cottony,” Constand said. “I said, ‘I see two of you,’ and I’m slurring my words. Mr. Cosby stood up, and I stood up because he said, ‘You probably need to relax,’ and when I stood up my legs were not strong, and I began to panic a little bit. Mr. Cosby grabbed, helped me by my arm and assisted me to a couch.”
Constand lost consciousness after Cosby helped her to the couch and provided a pillow for support, she said. She later awoke in the middle of the sexual assault as he was groping her, Constand said.
“In my head I was trying to get my hands to move or my legs to move, but I was frozen, and those messages didn’t get there and I was very limited. I wasn’t able to fight in any way. I wanted it to stop,” she said.
Constand said it took her a year to go to police because she felt intimidated.
“I felt that if I had gone to police, Mr. Cosby would retaliate and try to hurt me, that he would try to hurt me and my family in some way,” Constand said. “What had happened to me … it was overwhelming.”
Cosby’s defense team argues that Constand and prosecutors are misrepresenting what occurred that day and that the sexual activity was consensual, which Constand and prosecutors reject.
Depositions regarding the 2004 incident were unsealed in 2015, which prompted more accusers to step forward. So far, more than 50 women have come forward to accuse the former Cosby Show actor of drugging and sexually assaulting them. Some came forward after the statute of limitations expired for their cases.