June 6 (UPI) — The prosecution’s first witness in the Bill Cosby sexual assault trial wept while on the stand as she described a 1996 incident in which she said she felt intimidated after the entertainer drugged and abused her.
Kelly Johnson, the so-called “prior bad act” witness who prosecutors hope will show a pattern of behavior by Cosby, worked as an assistant to Cosby’s agent in the 1990s. He is on trial for the alleged abuse of Andrea Constand.
While on the stand, she said Cosby gave her a pill after asking her to visit him at his bungalow at Los Angeles’ Hotel Bel-Air.
Johnson said Cosby invited her in a “Dr. Huxtable kind of way” to offer career advice, but while she was there, Cosby wore a bathrobe and urged her to take a white pill to relax. Johnson, who was 34 at the time, said she did not want to take the pill and hid it under her tongue, but she swallowed when Cosby ordered her to open her mouth.
She said she did what Cosby said because he was the biggest client in the agency she worked for. Moments later, Johnson said she began to lose her senses. Johnson said she later awoke in bed, mostly undressed while Cosby was abusing her.
“I remember wanting to cover myself and not being able to,” Johnson said through tears in the Philadelphia suburb of Norristown, where the trial is taking place at the Montgomery County Courthouse.
Cosby’s defense lawyer Brian McMonagle said Johnson simply rejected Cosby’s request for sex during a visit to the bungalow and suggested Johnson was “dating” Cosby and that she took his money, which Johnson denied.
Cosby faces charges that he drugged and assaulted Constand, a former Temple University employee. Cosby, 79, is charged with three counts of felony aggravated indecent assault from a 2004 case involving Constand, formerly the women’s basketball team manager at his alma mater. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Cosby is accused of assaulting Constand while at his Philadelphia home. He faces a 10-year prison term if convicted.
Depositions regarding the 2004 incident were unsealed in 2015, which prompted more accusers to step forward. So far, more than 50 women have come forward to accuse the former Cosby Show actor of drugging and sexually assaulting them. Some came forward after the statute of limitations expired for their cases.
Cosby’s defense team argues that Constand and prosecutors are misrepresenting what occurred that day and that the sexual activity was consensual, which Constand and prosecutors reject.
“This case is about trust, betrayal and the inability to consent,” prosecutor Kristen Feden said during opening statements.