Sunday, December 5

Andrea Constand, Accuser of Bill Cosby, Speaks of Shock Over Decision to Release Him | Bill cosby


Andrea Constand, who accused Bill Cosby of sexual assault in a case that sent the American comedian to prison, has spoken about the shocking decision that freed him in June.

“Bill Cosby goes free,” Constand told NBC on Tuesday, “but that doesn’t change the fact that my testimony was believed.” She said she was “really shocked” and “disappointed” by a decision that she said showed the US justice system was “flawed.”

Constand met the television star at Temple University in Philadelphia, where she worked with the basketball show and Cosby was a famous graduate and trustee.

In a new memoir, The Moment, she describes their friendship and how she took the pills he offered her one night in January 2004, presuming they were herbal products.

He found his body going numb, he writes, adding: “My inability to control my own body was absolutely terrifying. At 6 feet, I’m the opposite of petite … Never before, not even as a child, have I been physically intimidated by anything or anyone. I was an athlete. But now I had no control over my limbs. “

In a statement, Cosby said that he fell in love with Constand. Their lawyers said their relationship was consensual.

After a police investigation, a local prosecutor refused to arrest Cosby. A year later, Constand signed a confidentiality agreement, when she settled a lawsuit against Cosby for $ 3.4 million. The athlete-turned-masseur lived quietly in Toronto until allegations against Cosby by more than 60 women brought her into the limelight in 2015.

In 2017, Constand testified in Cosby’s first trial about the alleged assault, which ended in a mistrial. In 2018 she testified in a second trial, when the jury convicted Cosby of drugging and raping her. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison, a high-profile sentence in the #MeToo era, in which women have sought to hold powerful sexual predators to account. Cosby’s incarceration was a dramatic ruin for a comedian who was once known as “the father of America” ​​or his healthy public image.

But the 84-year-old was released in June after the Pennsylvania Supreme Court overturned his conviction. In a decision that sparked widespread outrage, the court found that Cosby relied on an alleged promise by a district attorney that he would never be charged when giving incriminating testimony in a civil lawsuit brought by Constand, only to have it used against him in Two occasions. criminal trials.

Philadelphia prosecutors must decide this month whether to appeal to the US Supreme Court.

Constand told NBC that she had “gone too far to go back to that place, to wonder if it was worth it, or to regret it.

“It was worth it. But it was worth it because I didn’t feel alone. I had a whole community, a whole army of women and other survivors, strangers, family, friends, who were there with me.

“Bill Cosby goes free, but that doesn’t change the fact that my testimony was believed.”

In her book, Constand describes a secret meeting with jurors after Cosby was sentenced in 2018.

“As we hugged,” he writes, “I heard the same words over and over again: ‘We always believed you, Andrea.’ Of course, their verdict told me that they had concluded that my testimony was credible. But there was something about hearing the words … that took my breath away. “

For NBC, he said that the celebrations of Cosby and his followers when he got out of jail were “disgusting, but I was not surprised, given the level of arrogance and without remorse during the time he was incarcerated. Absolutely zero remorse for what he did to me.

“He is a sexually violent predator who basically got out of jail.”

Constand has founded a group to help survivors of sexual assault. Cosby has said that he can go on tour again. Constand said she didn’t really care if he came back on stage, but that she would tell “anyone who gives her a platform: rape is not a joke.”


www.theguardian.com

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