NORRISTOWN, Pa. — Unless he was thinking about having Pudding Pops with lunch, Bill Cosby has one twisted sense of humor.
The man once regarded as “America’s Dad” couldn’t keep himself from smiling as a forensic psychiatrist described for jurors the shock and fear felt by victims during a sex assault.
“Individuals find themselves feeling frozen, not knowing what to and feeling frightened,” Dr. Barbara Ziv, a forensic psychiatrist, told jurors at Cosby’s retrial as she described “rape myths” and the sometimes contradictory behavior of those who’ve survived a sexual assault.
But as the psychiatrist testified, Cosby removed his hand from his mouth to reveal an unsettling grin. Apparently unable to control himself, he quickly replaced the hand as Ziv continued to discuss the effect an intoxicant could have on someone’s ability to recall, and report, an assault.
The 80-year-old is accused of drugging and molesting former Temple University staffer Andrea Constand inside his Elkins Park, Pa., mansion in 2004. Constand says she awoke after taking three pills Cosby had given her for stress, and found him sexually attacking her — but was unable to speak or move.
The former basketball player slipped back into unconsciousness, opening her eyes hours later to find her clothing disheveled and her bra around her neck, she told jurors last year.
Constand, who turns 45 Wednesday, did not report the incident to police until a year later, sometime in early 2005, after returning to her native Canada.
Ziv testified that, especially if an intoxicant is involved, a survivor likely won’t have a clear or chronological recollection of events. They also often won’t immediately escape in cases involving acquaintances, she said.
Constand’s timeline has been spotty. She’s characterized the assault as happening in both January or March 2004, and said she accepted a muffin and tea from a bathrobe-clad Cosby before leaving his home after the alleged incident.
“We blame victims for not being the kind of victim we think they should be,” Ziv said. “If a football player gets hit hard, and gets back up again, we applaud them. But if a victim of sexual assault gets up again and moves on with their life, we say, ‘Then it didn’t happen.’”
“If drugs are involved, it increases the victim’s sense of responsibility, and impacts their memory of the incident,” the psychiatrist testified.
This isn’t Cosby’s first ill-timed smile. The fallen comedian cracked a grin during his trial last year, as his accuser walked jurors step-by-step through her memory of Cosby groping her breasts and shoving his fingers inside her.
Cosby faces up to 10 years behind bars on each count of aggravated indecent assault if convicted.
Earlier Tuesday, in an explosive opening statement, defense attorney Tom Mesereau told jurors Constand leveled the accusations solely to milk Cosby out of millions. He characterized her as a down-and-out failure who only cared about “money, money, money.”
Cosby’s first trial ended last June, when hung jurors were unable to return a verdict.