Bill Cosby is not expected to testify at his criminal trial for the 2004 rape of Andrea Constand, but today the jury heard from the actor directly via a 2005 recording of a phone call in which he tried to come to a deal with the former Temple University employee. Cosby’s distinctive voice echoed through the courtroom when the tape of the call with Andrea’s mother Gianna Constand was played.
“I would be willing to set up something either in Toronto or wherever the two of you feel she could go to school,” Cosby told Gianna Constand on the phone after being confronted by the family about the alleged incident in January 2004 in his Pennsylvania residence.
On the rough recording, Cosby seemed hesitant to get into specifics about the proposed arrangement beyond Andrea maintaining a “3.0 average.” At one point he says, “I thought I heard a beep,” and needed to be convinced by the older Constand that the call was not being taped. (Gianna Constand testified that the beep in question wasn’t actually the tape machine, nor the family parrot, but rather someone trying to call through on the other line). Recording telephone calls are legal in the Canadian province of Ontario if one party is aware of the recording.
“I wish I had recorded the first call,” Gianna Constand regretfully told Montgomery County D.A. Kevin Steele, the jury and onlookers in the Norristown, PA courtroom Wednesday afternoon. “She thought of him as a mentor, a father,” she said, attempting to keep her composure. “He betrayed her.”
“He drugged her and then put her on the Chesterfield and did whatever he wanted,” Gianna Constand said, breaking down at one point on the stand.
The older Constand testified about how her daughter first revealed the alleged incident. “ ‘Mom, he raped me’,” Gianna Constand said, adding that her daughter told her in an early 2005 phone call, “‘Mom, you’ve got to hear me out.’ ‘Mom,’ she yelled into the phone, I think I’ve got PTSD.’ ”
Taking the stand just after 3:30 PM ET Wednesday, the Toronto-area resident followed Andrea Constand’s nearly 10-hour testimony that bridged yesterday and today. Sitting stone-faced in the court, Cosby is facing up to a decade behind bars if found guilty of three felony charges of second-degree aggravated indecent assault against the then-Temple University employee.
Cosby admitted in a 2005 deposition unsealed in 2015 that he had Quaaludes in the 1970s to use for sex with women, but he has insisted in the same deposition and since that the interaction between him and Constand that night in January 2014 was always consensual.
“Don’t worry Mom, there was only digital penetration,” the older Constand asserted Cosby told her in the first non-recorded, nearly two-hour phone call in early 2005. “I feel bad telling you this, it sounds perverted, like I’m a perverted person,” she says Cosby told her, along with him declaring to the older Constand’s outrage that Andrea had an orgasm during the incident at his Philadelphia-area mansion. Andrea Constand was on the call too but hung up after Cosby offered his apology of sorts.
“What medication did you give to my daughter? What did you do to my daughter?” Andrea Constand’s mother also said she asked Cosby, angered that he didn’t call 911 when her daughter passed out from the pills he gave her. Gianna Constand, a health care professional, said she does not believe the pills were merely Benadryl as Cosby has previously stated. “I’ve never heard of Benadryl affecting someone like that,” she said.
The trial is the only criminal case against the much-accused Cosby, who has seen more than 60 women come forward in recent years with claims of being drugged and/or sexually assaulted by the actor in instances going back to the late 1960s.
Under cross-examination from the defense at the end of the day or what she called “testing my memory about irrelevant things,” the testimony of Gianna Constand concluded just after 5:16 PM ET. Expert witnesses and local police are also scheduled to be called during the two-week trial.