As the prosecution’s felony sex assault case of Bill Cosby pushes forward at the Montgomery County Courthouse outside of Philly, the presiding Judge Steven O’Neill announced today that the jury will be hearing about the comedian’s admitted use of quaaludes.
While the prosecution has been pushing for the jury to hear about Cosby’s statements about using quaaludes to entice women into sex, the defense has rigorously objected, saying at one point this morning that the revelation has no bearing on the case.
Cosby, who has denied all allegations against him, claimed in a statement to investigators in 2005 that he gave Andrea Constand, the accuser at the center of the retrial, over-the-counter allergy medication the night she alleges that she was drugged and raped in his suburban Philly home in 2004. But in that same deposition, he also admitted using quaaludes with other women.
“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?” asked Constand’s then-attorney Dolores Troiani.
“Yes,” Cosby replied.
“Did you ever give any of those young women the quaaludes without their knowledge?” Troiani asked.
Cosby’s attorney objected and advised the comedian not to answer the question.
The 80-year-old’s shocking statements about recreational drug use were first made public during the first trial against Cosby last year that ended in a hung jury in June.
What may be different this time around is that the jury has heard from a total of five women who have told very similar stories on the witness stand about being courted by Cosby and being furnished with drugs and alcohol before drifting in and out of consciousness and raped.
During Constand’s exhausting two-day testimony, she echoed the four accusers who came before her, alleging that Cosby gave her a pill before she, too, lost the ability to move and speak, and was, she said, sexually molested by Cosby.
Based on today’s decision — a big win for the prosecution — it’s likely the defense will spend even more time trying to discredit the accusers, particularly Constand, rather than make much of the former TV dad’s admitted drug use.
“The defense will argue that the several women who testified against Cosby are motivated by factors such as a money and fame,” explained defense attorney Stuart Slotnik from Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney in Philadelphia. “In one instance an accuser indicated that she did not know she was molested, but assumed she was because of what she has seen in the media. In another example, an accuser indicated that she published a fictional account of what happened with Cosby for a paycheck.”
He added, “The defense will implore the jury to focus on the charges and the one accuser’s testimony that is related to those charges. The defense must point out that the other accusers, who do not have criminal charges against Cosby, only testified in an attempt to tar and feather Cosby because the evidence in the case is weak.”
Constand’s testimony will likely be examined even further today as law enforcement officials take the stand to discuss the investigation into the night at Cosby’s home 14 years ago.
Yesterday, almost as if to downplay the controversial $3.4 million settlement Constand received in 2006 from Cosby, a sticking point that the defense has been using to paint Constand as greedy, she said she took the money to make the alleged incident from just two years before go away. “It tore my family apart,” she said. “We just wanted it over.”