Cosby trial enters third week

The woman who accuses GW basketball player Attila Cosby of sexually assaulting her in his residence hall room made her case in court June 29 after failing to show during Cosby’s first trial last summer.

The complainant, a 47-year-old alleged prostitute, testified that Cosby enticed her back to his Guthridge Hall room by offering drugs and then forced her to perform oral sex on him at gunpoint before sexually assaulting her with a broom handle.

“I was afraid not to (perform oral sex),” the woman said in D.C. Superior Court. “It was already obvious this man had brought me there on false pretenses.”

The prosecution and defense presented similar cases they argued a year ago with longer witness lists during the first two weeks of trial, which continues Tuesday when Cosby finishes testimony.

U.S. attorneys re-opened the case by filing nine misdemeanor charges against Cosby. A judge dismissed original felony charges in July 2000 because the prosecution failed to present enough evidence.

The woman, a crack-cocaine user at the time of the incident, said she was “hanging out” and “getting high” early May 15, 2000 when Cosby approached her car near the corner of New Jersey and P streets in Northwest D.C. She testified that she smoked about $50 to $60 worth of cocaine that night.

Cosby again took the stand in his own defense Thursday saying he made a mistake but did not assault the woman.

“I was curious, weak or whatever,” said Cosby of his decision to pick up the woman before driving her back to his Guthridge Hall room. At the time of the incident, his girlfriend Lisa Couser was nine months pregnant.

Cosby said he picked up a prostitute after traffic forced him take a detour to New Jersey and P streets, where the complainant flagged him down.

“I made a mistake,” Cosby said. “She opened the door and got in. I was just weak-minded.”

Earlier in the trial, defense attorneys presented DNA evidence matching the complainant to blood found on a broom handle confiscated from Cosby’s room. They also submitted a gun lock and a pad lock designed for a gun case that were taken from his room. No gun was found.

Although prosecutors and defense attorneys agree that the woman willingly entered Cosby’s car and went back to his room, their stories are very different.

Prosecutors allege the complainant was lured into Cosby’s car after he offered her drugs and that Cosby demanded oral sex, intercourse and told her to strip before assaulting her with a broomstick in his room. Prosecutors also allege Cosby forced the woman to masturbate at gunpoint.

The victim said during her testimony that she started bleeding once Cosby hit a vaginal polyp with the broomstick.

Defense attorneys said sex was Cosby’s only motive for bringing the woman to his room. On the car ride back to campus, Cosby said the woman repeatedly told him she would perform oral sex for $10 or $15 and crack cocaine. Cosby said he told the woman he did not have any drugs.

During his testimony, Cosby said he noticed the woman was bleeding when he went to get a condom and told her to clean up facial tissues soaked in blood, which he said he touched with a broom handle.

Cosby is also charged with theft of a $10 roll of quarters. Both Cosby and his godmother Geneva Couser, mother of Cosby’s girlfriend, testified that Couser gave him money to do his laundry.

In earlier testimony last week, Couser, a 27-year MPD veteran, said she did not act improperly by looking at MPD index cards describing reported sexual assaults and alleged attackers.

Couser said she did not remember receiving any details from Detective Randy Brooks and Lieutenant Lorraine Kittrell last May other than that Cosby had a pending arrest warrant.

“I don’t feel I did anything wrong,” Couser said in testimony. “I would never do anything to jeopardize 27 years.”

In testimony Thursday, Brooks said he read some of the arrest warrant over the phone to Couser.

Officer Joe Anderson, who testified July 2 that the “sex kit” that contained evidence gathered from Cosby’s Guthridge room was missing, was recalled by the defense Thursday. Anderson said the evidence turned up the day after his initial testimony.

Anderson said the sex kit was found in another officer’s box in a walk-in refrigerator in a place he recalled checking at least twice before.

Cosby faces two charges of sexual abuse, attempted threats, attempted possession of prohibited weapon and theft, and one charge of simple assault.

The senior lives in an apartment in Southeast D.C. with his mother. He testified that his career aspiration is to become a professional basketball player so that he can support his family, including his 13-month-old son.

Should the judge find Cosby not guilty, Cosby has one more hurdle to clear before he can return to the court for his final year of eligibility – head coach Karl Hobbs suspended Cosby Thursday for failing to meet academic requirements.

Because of prior commitments, Cosby’s lead defense attorney Billy Martin requested the court take a recess until next Tuesday when Cosby’s testimony will continue.

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