Norristown (United States) (AFP) – A music teacher told Bill Cosby’s retrial Wednesday that she wanted to see a “serial rapist convicted” and admitted offering support to the woman the disgraced star is accused of drugging and molesting.
The now frail and isolated 80-year-old could spend the rest of his life behind bars if convicted at his retrial for drugging and molesting Andrea Constand, 44, at his Philadelphia home in 2004.
The case has besmirched the legacy of the actor adored by millions as “America’s Dad” for his role as lovable father and obstetrician Cliff Huxtable on the hit 1984-92 television series “The Cosby Show.”
Since then, 60 women have accused the Emmy-winner of being a serial predator, alleging that he drugged and assaulted them over 40 years.
Cosby’s first trial in Norristown, a Philadelphia suburb, ended in a hung jury in June last year, with a sequestered panel hopelessly deadlocked after six days of testimony and 52 hours of deliberations.
Heidi Thomas, a Colorado music teacher and mother of four, is one of five additional accusers allowed to testify a second time around as the prosecution seeks to portray the award-winning actor as a serial predator in an attempt to convict in the Constand case.
Last time, the judge allowed just one additional accuser to speak and experts say his change of heart presents a much tougher challenge for the defense in what is the first celebrity trial of the #MeToo era.
“I want to see a serial rapist convicted,” Thomas told defense lawyer Kathleen Bliss on Wednesday, under cross-examination.
Thomas took her accusations public after other women started to come forward, giving multiple interviews and supporting a campaign to change the statute of limitations on rape in Colorado.
Under cross-examination, she admitted she had been in Facebook contact with Constand. Asked if she sent her a message saying “I got your back sister?” she replied: “I probably did… that sounds like me.”
Thomas’s testimony of being seemingly drugged — a sole sip of alcohol that left her fuzzy and unable to respond to alleged sexual assault in 1984 was striking for its similarities with Constand’s allegations.
Cosby’s celebrity defense attorney Tom Mesereau has branded Constand a lying, money-obsessed “con artist” who falsely accused the star to bag a nearly $3.4 million civil settlement in 2006 to evade debts.
At the time of the alleged assault, Constand was the director of women’s basketball at Temple University, where the wealthy actor sat on the board of trustees.
Cosby said he gave the Canadian an over-the-counter antihistamine to relieve stress. He said their relations were consensual.