Bill Cosby’s lead attorney Tom Mesereau opened the second day of his retrial with a fiery opening statement that labeled accuser Andrea Constand as a “con artist” desperate to score cash.
He claims Constand took advantage of Cosby’s grief over his son’s 1999 murder to quickly gain his trust, and then proceeded to frame him for assault. He claims she made up her sexual assault accusations in a bid to “hit the jackpot.” Mesereau then reminded jurors that she received $3.4 million from Cosby in a 2006 civil settlement.
- The prosecution’s first witness, a psychiatrist who testified that Constand’s behavior was typical for a sexual assault victim, also took the stand.
- “Individuals find themselves feeling frozen, not knowing what to feel and feeling frightened,”Dr. Barbara Ziv, a forensic psychiatrist, told jurors ?at Cosby’s retrial.
- “We blame victims for not being the kind of victim we think they should be,” Ziv said. “If a football player gets hit hard, and gets back up again, we applaud them. But if a victim of sexual assault gets up again and moves on with their life, we say ‘Then it didn’t happen.’”
- “If drugs are involved, it increases the victim’s sense of responsibility, and impacts their memory of the incident,” the psychiatrist testified.
- Cosby is on trial because Constand has accused him of drugging and sexually assaulting her at his home in 2004. She is among several dozen women who have made similar claims, but only her case can go to trial because of statute of limitations laws. Cosby, 80, denies all wrongdoing. His first trial ended in a hung jury.
- He faces up to ten years behind bars on each of three counts of aggravated indecent assault if convicted.