Cosby’s defense paints Constand as a ‘con artist’

The second day of the criminal trial against Bill Cosby started on Tuesday. Andrea Constand (pictured) accused the former Temple trustee of assault in 2004. MARK MAKELA | POOL PHOTO VIA ASSOCIATED PRESS

NORRISTOWN, Pa. — Bill Cosby’s defense attorney Tom Mesereau opened the second day of Cosby’s sexual assault retrial by portraying former Temple employee Andrea Constand as a lying “con artist.”

Mesereau told jurors that, “money, money and lots more money,” is what Constand wanted from Cosby when she accused him of sexually assaulting her in his Montgomery County home in 2004.

On Monday, District Attorney Kevin Steele revealed Constand received nearly $3.4 million from Cosby in the 2005 civil suit to silence Constand’s allegation, which he argued proves Cosby’s guilt, but Mesereau called this settlement amount hitting “the jackpot” in this opening statement.

Mesereau detailed a history of Constand’s financial problems that he said led her to seek out Cosby — a famous comedian, actor and a member of Temple’s Board of Trustees — at the time of the allegation.

“Her attitude was, ‘I could become a multi-millionaire, and [Cosby] won’t fight’ and he didn’t want to fight it,” Mesereau told jurors.

Constand was the director of operations of Temple women’s basketball team at the time of the alleged incident. Mesereau said she regularly complained about money problems and allegedly asked the university to advance her money at the time of her hire. He also said the defense has seen emails from Constand where she wrote she was running a pyramid scheme at Temple.

“This is the person the prosecution wants you to trust beyond a reasonable doubt,” Mesereau said.

Mesereau detailed several inconsistencies in Constand’s report of the allegation like her contact with Cosby before and after the alleged incident.

Constand allegedly told police that she had no contact with Cosby following the assault, but Mesereau said phone records will prove that following the assault, Constand repeatedly called Cosby.

He also said that Constand’s report to police regularly changed, as she did not tell police that she had been alone with Cosby in his home before the alleged assault in January 2004.

The prosecution moved to admit Dr. Barbara Ziv, who is a professor in the Lewis Katz School of Medicine, as an expert on the behavior of victims of sexual assault and abuse, which Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas Judge Steven T. O’Neill and the defense accepted.

On Monday, the retrial was delayed for several hours to re-interview all 12 seated jurors and the six alternates after juror No. 11 allegedly told another juror he thought Cosby was already guilty. O’Neill announced on Tuesday that all jurors can be fair and partial and serve on this trial.

Kelly Brennan
can be reached at kelly.brennan@temple.edu Or you can follow Kelly on Twitter @_kellybrennan Follow The Temple News @TheTempleNews

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