Cosby's star witness says accuser spoke of plot

Bill Cosby retrial sketches by Christine Cornell

Jackson walked into the courtroom with a story to tell and she says it all started in February of 2004 when she and Constand were roommates at a Rhode Island hotel while working for the Temple women's basketball team.

Jurors got a sense of Cosby's view of consent when the comedian described in the deposition reaching an area "somewhere between permission and rejection" during what he claims was a prior sexual encounter with Constand.

Mr. Cosby's lawyer had objected to the reading, suggesting there was no evidence that the three pills Mr. Cosby acknowledges giving Ms. Constand at his home were quaaludes.

Ms Constand is one of about 50 women who have accused Cosby of assaults dating back decades.

A police detective read a transcript of the 2005 testimony as prosecutors saved for the very end of their case Cosby's own words about using the 1970s party drug "the same as a person would say, 'Have a drink"'. The unsealing of the deposition, at the request of The Associated Press, led prosecutors to reopen Cosby's criminal case and shredded his good-guy persona as America's Dad.

The sedative was banned in the 1982, the year a woman who testified against Cosby, Janice Baker-Kinney, alleges he knocked her out with pills she suspected to be quaaludes and then raped her.

In a transcript read to the jury Wednesday, the "Cosby Show" star said he obtained seven prescriptions for quaaludes from his doctor in Los Angeles in the 1970s, ostensibly for a sore back, but added he didn't use them himself because they made him exhausted.

After watching a TV news report about a celebrity who had been sued over allegations of sexual assault, Jackson said, Constand told her: "Oh, wow, something similar happened to me".

Ms Jackson said she encouraged Ms Constand to report it. After saying to Constand that money could be a great motivator for people coming forward with assaults and making false accusations, she said she asked her another time if it really happened. I could quit my job. He said he rubbed the skin above her pants and "without talking I'm asking can I go farther".

During her short, highly anticipated appearance, Regan opened a window onto the back stages of the celebrity book-publishing business.

Constand accuses Cosby of drugging and molesting her in 2004. On Monday (Apr. 16), Constand rejected defense allegations that she concocted her story to score a big payday, and her mother testified that Cosby apologized in a phone call and called himself a "sick man". Hers is the only one recent enough to be the subject of criminal prosecution. The defense did not produce any records to support Jackson's claim she was on the trip.

The defence hoped Ms Jackson's testimony would bolster Cosby's efforts to show Ms Constand fabricated the allegations against him to extort a big civil settlement. She also published O.J. Simpson's confessional book "If I Did It", under her imprint, Regan Books, which was a subdivision of News Corp. Dickinson also alleged she told publishers about the alleged sexual assault before the release of her 2002 memoir No Lifeguard on Duty, but they made her keep the details out of the book, because they feared legal backlash from the comedian's lawyers. Jackson said she had no recollection of filing expenses with Temple ever.

"She said, 'No, I could say it did, '" Jackson testified. That trial ended without a verdict after jurors deadlocked.

Bill Cosby (center) is escorted into the Montgomery County Courthouse on Wednesday morning. Prosecutors said Wednesday that they are done with their case, except for expert witnesses who will be called Thursday.

The jury also heard parts of a 2005 deposition given by Cosby where he admitted to giving quaaludes to women he wanted to have sex with. He said Constand never told him to stop. At the time, no other women had quite so publicly accused Cosby of rape - Regan and the lawyers at the publisher were anxious about taking such a big chance on painting the legendary comedian as a sexual predator. The case was settled for almost $3.4 million.

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