NORRISTOWN, Pa. (CN) – Having a police detective read Bill Cosby’s sworn statement to the court, prosecutors worked Friday morning to show that the comedian knew he had crossed the line.
“My God, I’m in trouble,” Cosby had said in 2005, giving deposition testimony in a civil case with Andrea Constand, the woman he was charged a decade later with assaulting.
“I thought, this is a dirty old man with a young girl,” Cosby continued, his statements being read aloud to the court by Detective James Reape.
Montgomery County prosecutors first called the major-crimes detective to the stand Thursday afternoon to introduce Cosby’s once-sealed deposition testimony.
Constand had brought a civil case against Cosby in 2005 after the prosecutors in charge at the time declined to take her allegations to trial. Just as the statute of limitations for her claims was about to run out, however, renewed interest in Cosby’s accusers allowed the county to reopen her case.
It was the release of Cosby’s incriminating 2005 deposition testimony that quickly prompted his arrest.
Kicking off Day 5 of Cosby’s trial this morning, District Attorney Kevin Steele walked Detective Reape through the portion of Cosby’s deposition where he talks about being confronted on the phone by Constand’s mother.
“I apologized,” Cosby had said, his words also being projected for the courtroom on a large screen. “I said it was digital penetration.”
Cosby testified at the time that he was worried about his public image. It was in his “best interest for the public to believe that Andrea consented,” Cosby added.
Constand insists, however, that she was incapable of consenting, and that Cosby ensured this by plying her with Benadryl that he misrepresented as an herbal remedy.
When she confronted Cosby on the phone, Gianna Constand, the accuser’s mother, had demanded to know what kind of pills Cosby had used. As she testified earlier in the trial, Cosby offered to write the name of the pills on a piece of paper and mail it to the Constands.
Cosby admitted in his deposition testimony why that never happened. “I’m not sending anything over the mail, and I’m not giving away anything,” he had said.
Later in the deposition, Cosby talked about how he knew the phone conversation wasn’t just with his accuser’s mother, that Andrea Constand was also on the line.
“Tell your mother you were awake, tell your mother about the orgasm, tell you mother we talked,” he said he had wanted to plead.
These were not the words Cosby used, however. “I’m not going to argue with someone’s mother who is accusing me of something,” he explained in his deposition.
Prosecutors also had the detective read Cosby’s now-infamous quaaludes admission.
Discussing sexual activity he claims was consensual with a woman named Therese Serignese, Cosby said it was not unusual for him to give women quaaludes before having sex with them.
“I gave them to her,” Cosby said of Serignese, who has been a steady fixture at this week’s trial.
“She became, in those days, what was called high,” Cosby added, going on to to explain that he meant Serignese was relaxed, if unsteady, but able to move her arms and legs.
Cosby testified that the now-late Los Angeles doctor Leroy Amar gave him seven prescriptions for his back pain over the course of two years.
Explaining that he never took the quaaludes himself, Cosby said he had other similar depressants in the hospital. They made him drowsy, and he wanted to “stay awake,” he said.
Cosby admitted that he kept the quaaludes for a number of years, saying they “happen to be the drugs young kids party with, and I wanted to have them just in case.”
Cosby admitted that he knew it was illegal to dispense drugs but that he gave the quaaludes to other people anyway.
Constand told police that Cosby gave her three blue pills, but none of the pills that Cosby supplied to police for forensic analysis in 2005 were blue. One was white, one green and the third pink.
The pink pill was confirmed to be generic Benadryl, but the government’s witness undercut the significance of this.
Reape, who began working on the case when it was reopened in 2015, noted that Cosby had told police in 2005 that he still had the same Benadryl he said he had given Constand.
“Instead of giving those pills, he gives pink, not consistent with the blue,” Reape said. “I found that to be odd.”
Cosby’s defense attorney Brian McMonagle offered a possible theory on cross-examination, saying Cosby might have just turned over pills that his driver had access to in a bag.
The cross-examination ended quickly, with McMonagle pointing out that Cosby has consistently maintained since 2005 that Constand did consent.
Cosby testified in the deposition that he never believed Constand or her mother were after his money. He said he planned to give Constand a check for graduate school, though usually he has a foundation to support sending people to college.
Because the Constands never attended the meeting in Miami that Cosby had scheduled, however, he said he never gave any “educational money.” Cosby denied offering “educational trusts” to any other women he had sex with.
Constand did reach an undisclosed financial settlement with Cosby in her 2005 civil case.
Clinical and forensic psychologist Veronique Valliere took the witness stand next, helping prosecutors explain why Constand like so many other victims of sexual assault did not report her incident immediately.
“Most often it’s not violent,” Valliere said of sexual assault, “and victims are confused.”
Valliere noted the trend of victims trying to get back to their normal life. This trend is not unique to sex crimes, Valliere added, drawing a comparison to the slogan “Boston Strong,” which became popular after the bombing of the Boston Marathon. “They try to carry on,” Valliere said.
While the victim will try “to get the relationship back to where it was before the incident … like after a fight with a spouse,” Valliere said the attacker will try to minimize the incident to a victim. “When offenders try and revise the truth, it creates a mixup with victims’ own reality,” Valliere said.
As with Constand here, Valliere also noted that the use of intoxicants leads to self-blame. “There is fear and blame … shock and disbelief,” she said.
Valliere also hinted at Cosby’s celebrity and reputation as a contributing factor. When it’s a “well-known or well-loved offender,” she said, “the victim may choose to deal with it on their own, and think maybe the offender is too powerful to even touch.”
Defense attorney McMonagle objected to Valliere’s testimony when the jury left for lunch, saying the hypotheticals she gave were rather specific.
“She is bringing up celebrity, wealth and this case,” McMonagle shouted.
Assistant District Attorney Kristen Feden fired back: “She is an expert and I’m permitted to ask hypothetical questions.”
McMonagle offered a hypothetical of his own to the prosecution’s final witness Friday.
“If my wife took three halves of a Benadryl … would it be possible for my wife and I to have a romantic encounter,” the attorney asked.
“I would hope so,” said forensics expert Timothy Rohrig, as the entire courtroom giggled.
Rohrig testified about the side effects of diphenhydramine, the main ingredient in Benadryl.
In addition to sedation, side effects can include cotton mouth and blurred vision — all symptoms that Constand claims to have experienced, which are also consistent with quaalude side effects.
Rohrig listed multiple cases where people used diphenhydramine to aid in sexual assault.
“They were designed to make you very, very sleepy,” the toxicologist added.
On cross-examination, Rohrig confirmed the defense’s point that Benadryl came in blue-tablet form in 2005, and he confirmed that Benadryl aids in sleep.
During a break in proceedings, McMonagle complained that the prosecution’s psychologist had demonstrated on Facebook that she has been “rooting for the prosecution.”
Judge Steven O’Neill overruled the objection, as well as on-the-fly motion by McMonagle for mistrial, his second in the trial.
McMonagle raised his issues with Valliere at cross-examination as well, proffering a printout from Facebook about a Cosby-related article from the Washington Post.
“Trauma impacts the way we recall memory,” Valliere had said in sharing the article.
Later, having just testified in an unrelated case, Valliere commented on her own post: “Wow. Interesting, given my testimony yesterday,” she wrote. “Myths live on.”
In yet another post, referencing the 2016 decision that Cosby’s case would go to trial,” Valliere wrote: Victory! The case goes on.”
“You say that isn’t bias,” McMonagle asked.
Valliere insisted she is not biased. “This information is applicable to any sexual-assault case,” she said.