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Cosby’s accuser takes the stand in first public appearance

Andrea Constand was a Temple employee when she was allegedly sexually assaulted by Bill Cosby, an alumnus of the university.

Andrea Constand, Bill Cosby’s alleged sexual assault victim and former Temple employee, took the stand in his criminal trial Tuesday. This was her first public appearance telling her story of her alleged assault by Cosby, where she says she was drugged and groped by him.

Constand testified that the three blue pills Cosby gave her at his home in 2004 left her “paralyzed and helpless,” the Associated Press reported. She added she was unable to stop Cosby’s advances because she couldn’t move her hands or legs and “wanted it to stop.”

Tuesday was the second day of Cosby’s criminal trial, where he has been charged with drugging and sexually assaulting Constand. Opening arguments began Monday in the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, where prosecutors argued Cosby’s defense team was attempting to discredit Constand.

The Associated Press reported that Cosby could get up to 10 years in prison for the alleged assault if he’s convicted.

Constand told the jury that Cosby gave her the pills that he said were a natural treatment for stress, and within 20 minutes she began to feel dizzy and paralyzed, the Associated Press reported. She added that by this point, Cosby penetrated her with his fingers and placed her hand on his penis, moving it back and forth.

Cosby has been accused by more than 60 women, but Constand is the only case that Cosby has been charged.

Another accuser, Kelly Johnson, took the stand on Monday, testifying she was drugged and molested by Cosby in 1996 after being coerced to take a pill. When she awoke, Cosby was naked and forced her to use her hand to give him sexual pleasure, the Associated Press reported.

Johnson’s mother Pattrice Sewell testified Tuesday, adding to her daughter’s story that Johnson feared she would get fired from her job as an employee under Cosby’s agent, according to the Associated Press’ report.

Johnson later settled a workers’ compensation claim for around $10,000 for the encounter, according to the Associated Press.

This was Constand’s first public appearance speaking about her alleged assault. She was blocked from speaking about the matter until now due to a confidential settlement Constand and Cosby reached in 2006, the Associated Press reported. Her deposition is still sealed from that lawsuit.

Gillian McGoldrick can be reached at gillian.mcgoldrick@temple.edu or on Twitter @gill_mcgoldrick

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