Bill Cosby Trial: Andrea Constand Set To Take Stand Friday

Bill Cosby

The main event of Bill Cosby retrial will begin Friday, when accuser Andrea Constand is scheduled to take the stand as court resumes in the morning.

Judge Steven O’Neill announced Thursday that Constand would be the prosecution’s next witness after Lise-Lotte Lublin stepped down after more than two hours of testimony on Day 4 of the trial at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, PA. Lublin was the last of five accusers allowed to testify as part of the prosecution’s attempt to show a common pattern or scheme to Cosby’s interaction with Constand. Over the past three days on the stand, the five women shared similarities in their alleged encounters with Cosby: claims that he was going to help them in their modeling and acting careers, overtures by Cosby to their families, and an offer of alcohol or pills before sexually assaulting them.

Lublin, who was 23 when her relationship with Cosby began in 1989 in Las Vegas, said he offered her two shots of alcohol in his hotel room before she passed out. For Heidi Thomas, it was a sip of white wine. Janice Dickinson, who testified earlier today, said she was given one blue pill, the same as Chelan Lasha. Janice Baker-Kinney testified that she was given two pills.

Most of the women expressed reservations to taking the drugs and alcohol. Thomas and Lublin said they didn’t even drink. But they gave in because of the reverence they had for Cosby given his public image.

“I kind of trusted him as America’s Dad,” Lublin said. “He’s a figure that people respected for many years.”

The defense tried exposing deficiencies in the accusers’ motives by portraying them as hungry for fame and money. But when Cosby’s lawyers brought up a $100 million fund lawyer Gloria Allred has said Cosby’s victims should receive, the women said they were either completely unaware or knew little about it. When asked why they’d been on so many TV programs and news stories, Lublin, Thomas and Baker-Kinney said they had been making media appearances as a means to promote their cause of increasing the statute of limitations for sexual assault and harassment victims in their home states.

Even Dickinson, at times contentious with Cosby attorney Tom Mesereau today, consistently accounted for the contradiction between her night with Cosby as portrayed in her memoir versus how she explained it on the stand today. She kept bringing up how poetic license was used in the book, but not on the witness stand.

“Today I put my hand on a Bible and swore,” Dickinson said. “I wasn’t under oath when I wrote that book.”

Andrea Constand
Andrea Constand in June 2017 REX/Shutterstock

Of course, the trial is not about the five accusers. It’s about Constand and what happened on a January night in 2004 when the former Temple University employee said Cosby offered her blue pills and then digitally penetrated her and forced her to stroke his penis while she was unable to consent.

O’Neill reminded the jury of its job Thursday morning and again in the afternoon before they were dismissed. He told them they were only to consider the evidence for the limited purpose of showing a common plan, scheme or design that could relate to Cosby’s interaction with Constand. Nothing else.

“The length of time might feel like this is the trial,” said O’Neill, referring to the other accusers. “It is not.”

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