Andrea Constand, the Woman Bill Cosby Sexually Assaulted in 2004, Recalls the Traumatizing Abuse
Editor’s note: This story was first published on June 13, 2017. On Tuesday, Bill Cosby was sentenced to three to 10 years in prison after being convicted in the spring of sexually assaulting former Temple University employee Andrea Constand.
Constand, 45, first met Cosby in 2002, when, then 29 years old, she was the director of operations for Temple University’s women’s basketball team and was introduced to Cosby by a mutual friend at the campus’ Liacouris Center.
His plan was to “meet her” and then “perhaps to have some moments with her that would have to do with some sort of friendship,” he said.
Cosby later allegedly contacted Constand at her Temple office to “discuss business-related matters,” according to the probable cause affidavit used to arrest Cosby in 2015 on three counts of aggravated indecent assault, for which he was convicted in April.
Donna Motsinger, one of the original “Jane Does” who came forward in Constand’s 2005 civil suit and has since befriended Constand, told PEOPLE that Constand was “ready, prepared” to testify.
Motsinger added, “She has no anxiety and is positive, as always.”
For the next 14 months, Cosby, who was 35 years Constand’s senior, nurtured their relationship by “inviting her to my house, talking to her about personal situations dealing with her life, growth, education, access and thoughts to how to acquire a more aggressive attitude, protecting oneself in business,” he said in his deposition.
Then, in January 2004, Constand said Cosby invited her to his home to discuss her career plans, both agreed in separate statements to investigators.
On three prior occasions, Cosby said he made romantic advances that Constand did not rebuff, while she said she did indeed rebuff them, according to the probable cause affidavit.
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On that night in January 2004, Cosby said he gave her some Benadryl to help her relax. Constand said he told her that it was herbal medication. He maintained that what happened next between them sexually that evening was consensual.
But she said that whatever he gave her left her so incapacitated she couldn’t speak or move while Cosby was “fondling her breasts, put his hand in her pants … penetrated her vagina with his fingers” and “took her right hand and placed it on his penis,” according to the arrest affidavit.
Constand, who is gay and was in a relationship with a woman at the time, told investigators she had “no interest whatsoever” in a romantic relationship with him, but had viewed Cosby as a “mentor” and felt they had a “sincere friendship.”
For most of the next year after the assault, Constand struggled with nightmares, sometimes screaming in her sleep, according to her mother, Gianna Constand.
“There was a change in her daughter’s personality and she’d isolated herself from her friends,” according to the affidavit. “Mrs. Constand attempted to find out from her daughter what was wrong with her but the victim simply did not answer.”
Finally, on Thursday, Jan. 13, 2005, Andrea told her mother.
“I had a flashback,” she said to police, explaining why she alerted her mom, according to a copy of her entire Jan. 22, 2005 statement to a Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, detective and a Cheltenham Police Department detective.
“I just called my mom and said, ‘I need to tell you about something that happened to me,’ ” Andrea told the detectives. “I said something happened a while back. I said it involved Mr. Cosby.”
“I said, ‘One night around this time last year I was invited to Mr. Cosby’s house and he gave me pills and he sexually violated me without me consenting,’ ” she said.
She hadn’t told anyone before because “there was an element of fear,” she told police. “Before I was going to say anything to anyone I had to put my own thoughts and feelings together. I was emotionally shocked. I was still traumatized about the whole situation. I had some emotional stress I was dealing with. I needed to come to terms with this on my own.”
An enraged Gianna, who’d spoken to the entertainer many times previously, called Cosby. When she couldn’t reach him, she left a message on his voicemail. She and her daughter then contacted the police in Ontario, Canada, where they lived.
Three days later, Cosby called Gianna back and they spoke for two hours, according to Cosby’s deposition.
“She said, ‘I want to know the truth, what you did to my daughter,’ ” Cosby said, according to his deposition. “She said three times, ‘This is a mother’s nightmare.’ … She said, ‘I don’t know how long it’s going to take Andrea to heal and I don’t know how long it’s going to take me to heal.’ ”
Cosby apologized and said, “‘What can I do?” according to his Jan. 26, 2005 statement to police. “She said, ‘Nothing.’ She said, ‘Your apology is enough.’ ”
Cosby promised to send Gianna a copy of the prescription for what he gave to Andrea, but he never did. Afterward, he and his representatives offered Andrea money for graduate school.
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In February 2005, then Montgomery County District Attorney Bruce L. Castor Jr. decided not to bring criminal charges against Cosby, citing “insufficient credible and admissible evidence.”
Andrea then filed a civil lawsuit against Cosby. Thirteen women — identified at the time only as Jane Does, including Motsinger — then came forward saying he’d done the same thing to them. Several of the women subsequently made their identities and allegations public.
Although that civil lawsuit was settled out of court by Cosby in November 2006, it produced nearly 1,000 pages of testimony provided by the entertainer over four days in 2005 and 2006.
Cosby’s attorneys fought to keep that record confidential, but it was unsealed by a federal judge in 2015 as part of a defamation lawsuit later filed by seven women who also allege that Cosby drugged and sexually assaulted them.
Cosby, now 81, has repeatedly denied those accusations, which are among claims made by more than 60 women.
As part of Cosby’s deposition, he admitted he purchased Quaaludes to have sex with women. He said he was not in possession of the now-banned sedative when he assaulted Constand.
The Quaalude admissions were the reason Montgomery County prosecutors reopened Constand’s criminal case.