The second accuser to testify in Bill Cosby’s retrial, Chelan Lasha, was already sobbing and shaking when she took the stand at the comedian’s retrial on Wednesday.
Lasha told the court that when she was 17 years old, Cosby arranged for her to meet him in the Elvis Presley suite of the Las Vegas Hilton hotel, where she worked in 1986. She said he knew she was interested in modeling and offered to help her career.
Lasha testified that Cosby gave her a drink, and then what he told Lasha was “an antihistamine,” which she took.
“I trusted him,” Lasha said, breaking down into sobs again.
Lasha said she “could barely move” when Cosby then began rubbing her shoulder. “He laid me in the bed, and I couldn’t move anymore. He molested me. And he kept touching my breasts and humping my leg.” She imitated guttural grunting sounds into the courtroom microphone, and said the next thing she remembered was Cosby’s voice stating, “Daddy says wake up.”
In one of the most emotional moments of the trial so far, Lasha told the court she remembered thinking “What are you doing and why are you doing this to me?.”
“I was a good girl, and he took it all away from me,” she added
Lasha said she later lost her job at the hotel after she heckled Cosby during a performance he gave at the hotel’s theater. Under cross-examination, she said “I was acting out because he raped me.”
At one point, Lasha addressed Cosby directly from the witness stand: “You remember, don’t you, Mr. Cosby?” just as Judge Steven O’Neill dismissed jurors for lunch. This statement promoted the defense to motion for a mistrial, but the request was quickly denied by Judge O’Neill.
The defense pushed back against Lasha’s testimony with a request to admit into evidence a 2007 conviction for giving false statements to police. However, the judge only granted Cosby’s team a limited exploration of the conviction during their cross-examination.
Lasha’s testimony Wednesday afternoon was followed by that of a third accuser, Janice Baker-Kinney, who reported a similar incident to that of the other accusers. Baker-Kinney told the court she believed Cosby had administered two Quaaludes to her in 1982, and that she recalled “faceplanting” into the board of a backgammon game she and a friend were playing in his suite.
Baker-Kinney told the court that the next thing she knew, she was immobile with her shirt and pants unbuttoned, not knowing how she got there, as her friend began to leave. Baker-Kinney then said that she remembered being carried into a bed.
“There was a sticky wetness between my legs,” Baker-Kinney testified. “And it felt like that I had had sex the night before. I have no recollection of time at all, but there was evidence between my legs that something had occurred there.”
Under cross-exmination by Cosby attorney Tom Mesereau, Baker-Kinney interrupted her own response to a question by asking aloud, “Are you rolling your eyes at me?” She told the lawyer that she felt he was “kind of turning her words.”
Cosby is being re-tried on three counts of aggravated indecent assault, stemming from former Temple University employee Andrea Constand’s accusation that the comedian molesting her in 2004 at his home outside of Philadelphia. Cosby’s initial trial in the matter ended in a mistrial in July 2017 after the jury was unable to reach a verdict following five days of deliberations.
Earlier Wednesday, another Cosby accuser, former aspiring actress Heidi Thomas, shared her own accusations against Cosby, referring to him as a “serial rapist.”
“I want to see a serial rapist convicted,” Thomas said while being cross-examined by Cosby’s defense team.