By David DeKok
NORRISTOWN, Pa. (Reuters) – Bill Cosby told detectives who interviewed him shortly after he was accused of sexually assaulting a former friend at his Philadelphia-area home in 2004 that he touched but did not have intercourse with his accuser, prosecutors said on Tuesday.
Cosby, an 80-year-old entertainer best known as the star of the 1980s TV hit “The Cosby Show,” is facing his second trial in a Pennsylvania court on charges of drugging and assaulting Andrea Constand. The jury which heard his first trial on these charges last year failed to reach a verdict.
The new jury on Tuesday heard testimony from Cheltenham Township police who initially investigated the case shortly after accusations by Constand, a former director of operations for the women’s basketball team at Cosby’s alma mater, Temple University.
Prosecutors at the time declined to bring a case against Cosby, who was eventually charged in late 2015, shortly before the statute of limitations on the crime was to expire.
Police Sergeant Richard Schaffer read the jury a transcript of a 2005 police interview with Cosby in which he said that he had a consensual sexual encounter with Constand but stopped short of sexual intercourse.
“I didn’t feel like it,” Schaffer quoted Cosby as saying in the interview. “I liked petting, touching.”
Constand is one of about 50 women who have accused Cosby of assaults dating back decades. Hers is the only one recent enough to be the subject of criminal prosecution.
Cosby denies all wrongdoing and says that any sexual contact was consensual. He could face 10 years in prison if convicted.
Defense attorneys on Monday sought to undercut Constand’s credibility, pressing her about accusations that she had schemed to plant a false story of abuse to reap hush money.
Cosby paid Constand $3.38 million to settle a civil lawsuit that Constand filed after Pennsylvania prosecutors in 2005 initially declined to charge Cosby for the alleged assault.
Five of Cosby’s other accusers have testified in this trial.
(Reporting by David DeKok; writing by Scott Malone; editing by Kevin Liffey and Jonathan Oatis)