International: Court hears Cosby 'used power and fame to prey on woman'

Tuesday, June 6, 2017 - 12:30

A witness in the Bill Cosby sex assault trial has told the court he drugged and sexually abused her in 1998.

It is the same method he is said to have used in the alleged 2004 attack on Andrea Constand he is on trial for.

Cosby, 79, denies the charge.

His lawyer says she agreed to sex and has changed her story to investigators.

Dozens of women say Cosby assaulted them, but statutes of limitation rules mean he is on trial for only one allegation.

In both incidents, Cosby is said to have invited a young woman to his home for career advice before offering her a pill to "relax" her and abusing her once she was incapacitated.

Witness Kelly Johnson said she initially hid the pill under her tongue but Cosby then checked to see if she had swallowed it.

She later woke up partially clothed in Cosby's bed with Cosby behind her, grunting, before he forced her to touch his genitals, she told the court.

"I was trying to say something," she said. "I don't know if I was actually speaking."

The case is seen as the biggest US celebrity court case since the murder trial of former American football player OJ Simpson in 1995.

It revolved around "trust, betrayal and the inability to consent", prosecutors told the court in Pennsylvania.

Prosecutor Kristen Feden told jurors that the defendant had "used his power and his fame and his previously practised method of placing a young, trusting woman in an incapacitated state so he could sexually pleasure himself".